After a successful 10-year run, Veggie U and The Chef's Garden have made the painful decision to not continue hosting the annual Food & Wine fundraiser in Milan, Ohio. In just 10 years' time, the popular summer event that featured chefs and wineries from across the nation doubled in size to roughly 1,000 guests.
"We had a great 10-year run, but we had the thought to end on a high note," explains Veggie U board member Barb Jones. "We have a very small staff and decided to focus on our program."
That program is a national non-profit that supplies classroom garden kits and curriculum to elementary students to boost awareness of healthy food options and the importance of sustainable agriculture. Veggie U also has introduced a new curriculum specifically geared to the autism population and soon will build a new facility, notes Jones.
Instead of one big event per year to raise funds for Veggie U, Jones says the organization will instead focus on hosting a number of smaller events throughout the year.
"Chefs have always been extremely supportive of the Veggie U program," she notes.
In addition to a Dinner in the Dark event at Good to Go Café on June 17, Veggie U will host a chef summit and a number of other food-focused events.