In Focus: Second Harvest Hosts Virtual Chef Challenge in Place of Annual Gala
When Second Harvest North Central Food Bank in Grand Rapids discovered they wouldn’t be able to host their annual gala due to COVID-19 restrictions, they had to think on their toes. They came up with a media event that combined live cooking, fundraising, and a show.
Despite the empty audience yesterday at the Reif Center, the stage was set for a first-of-its-kind event, the 2021 Second Harvest Chef’s Gala: Virtual Edition. Second Harvest has been hosting annual galas for over a decade.
This year, things inevitably had to change, but Second Harvest wanted to ensure that there was still a show put on for the audience at home. And what’s a show without an emcee? This year, Aaron Brown was given the task.
Throughout the night at home, local celebrities-turned-chefs were asked to create a meal in just 30 minutes. The goal was not only to raise funds but also to raise spirits. In 2020 due to increased need, Second Harvest donated over 1 million more pounds of food than in 2019.
The gala ended up raising over $60,000 for the food bank.