Food For Thought hosts fundraising dinner in Sebastopol

Around 200 people gathered in Sebastopol on Sunday to raise money for the Forestville food bank.|

Food For Thought, a food bank in Forestville, hosted its fourth annual “Our Long Table” fundraiser on June 12 at the Vine Hill House in Sebastopol.

Around 200 people gathered for dinner outside on a grassy hill surrounded by flower gardens and overlooking hundreds of acres of vineyards and apple orchards to raise money for the food bank, which provides healthy meals for more than 7,000 Sonoma County residents with serious medical conditions.

Guests were served summer wines donated by Acorn Winery, Moshin Vineyards, Pax Winery, and Emeritus Winery, and Park Avenue Catering created a multicourse meal using only antibiotic and hormone free meats, wild and sustainably farmed fish, and fruits and vegetables grown by local farmers.

The $200-a-plate meal was followed by a live auction and a raffle with donated prizes including: a sculpture by Sebastopol-based junk artist Patrick Amiot, an African photo safari, wine, and gift certificates for various restaurants, massages and clothing stores.

Spike Sikes and His Awesome Hotcakes, a Sonoma County-based jazz, blues, and soul band, performed live music on a shaded porch.

“It really was flawless,” Karen Gardner, the food bank’s development director, said. “The timing was right, the weather was right, the wine and food were great, and people were just so happy.”

The event raised $190,000 for Food for Thought’s food assistance programs.

Food for Thought started in 1988 as a HIV service organization and has expanded significantly over time, now providing food assistance and nutrition services to thousands of Sonoma County residents with cancer, congestive heart failure, diabetes and other medical conditions. Its newest program, called Full Belly, provides meals to pregnant women at risk of malnutrition.

To learn more about Food for Thought, go to www.fftfoodbank.org.

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