Food for Thought: Food fundraisers are nutritious, delicious and charitable

Food sales, gift baskets and charity dinners are all fabulous ways of raising money for a good cause. People always enjoy eating and feel good about eating gourmet if their money goes to a good cause.

A great example of how food can be used as a fundraiser in our city is the array of food festivals that occur in London throughout the year. These festivals can be held in one location where the food vendors and people all meet, like Sunfest in Victoria Park, or they can be held at each individual restaurant with a special “prix fixe” menu which donates a percentage of its proceeds to the cause. These festivals bring tons of Londoners who want to sample the local restaurants for a lower price than the average visit. The one-location festivals, like Sunfest, Festa Italiana, East Coast Fest, Afrofest and Festival of India, tend to celebrate and raise money for the variety of cultures that make up our city. These festivals are usually held at Victoria Park and The Covent Garden Market in the heat of summer so people can stroll through and experience the wonderful food and music of the culture at leisure.

The fixed menu festivals can happen all year round to make the winter chill more bearable. A recent fixed menu festival in London was Food Fusion. Food Fusion is ran from February 18 to 28, and had 22 participating restaurants with three course lunch and dinner menus ranging from $15- $30 per person. The proceeds for this festival went to Heart-Links, an organization that hopes to increase community awareness and raise money to help feed the poor and malnourished population of Peru, where access to food is scarce and food education is limited.

Fanshawe's own restaurant, Saffrons, was amongst the 22 affiliated restaurants and offered a delightful looking $30 menu. Saffrons is run by Fanshawe employees and students, making this restaurant a prime example of the amazing culinary talent this college is capable of.

If you want to participate in raising money for a great cause, you can also hold a charity dinner for your friends and family. It's as easy as planning a menu, doing a little prep work, and sending out invitations. Menus can be easy and fun to make, but if you need help thinking of ideas or figuring out costs, please email me.