SF nonprofit Meals On Wheels' culinary gala raises funds for thousands of Bay Area seniors
SAN FRANCISCO -- The nonprofit Meals on Wheels of San Francisco held its annual Star Chefs & Vintners Gala Sunday evening to raise funds for thousands of seniors in the city and northern San Mateo County.
The organization serves homebound seniors as well as people with disabilities who face illness or financial hardships.
The event was held at the Fort Mason Center for The Arts, where more than 500 guests helped raise one-third of the organization's budget to provide nearly 700,000 meals for seniors in need.
"It's important for us to step up and help them fight that food insecurity, to be part of that security blanket for them," said board chair Rosemary Wong, who attended the first gala 35 years ago.
She said the need has grown exponentially since then.
Sunday's event featured 80 restaurants representing the best of Northern California cuisine, and sommeliers poured wines from dozens of Napa and Sonoma Counties' top wineries during the reception and seated dinner.
Celebrated chefs, including Tyler Florence and Michael Mina, and their teams collaborated on the event.
"It's exciting to get out here and see all the people and do something nice for the community," said Chef de Cuisine Colton Hays of Epic Steak. He prepared a lamb dish for 120 guests.
Meals on Wheels of San Francisco prepared and delivered 2.6 million meals to the homes of more than 5,400 older adults living in the Bay Area last year. They also provided more than 284,000 wellness visits. It is the only organization in the Bay Area to offer two home-delivered meals a day.
"With the end of pandemic relief funding, including the extra emergency government funds for CalFresh, many seniors are now at a loss on how they'll be able to afford nutritious meals without the extra money they have counted on the past two years," said David Linnell, Acting CEO, Meals on Wheels of San Francisco in a press release.
"While the World Health Organization recently announced that COVID is no longer a global emergency, the number of older adults in need of food and wellness services coming out of the pandemic continues to grow, and that means events like our gala are crucial in helping us raise the funds needed to keep seniors fed."
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