Night of nibbles yields nearly $2,000 for food bank

December 8, 2009

By Warren Kagarise

The event attracted about 60 people to Blakely Hall for appetizers and wine. Photo by Dianne Brisbine

The event attracted about 60 people to Blakely Hall for appetizers and wine. Photo by Dianne Brisbine

A foodie fundraiser pulled in almost 600 pounds of food and $2,000 for the Issaquah Food and Clothing Bank last month.

Corks & Forks, organized by the Issaquah Highlands Wine and Cooking Club, brought together 63 attendees Nov. 13 for high-end nibbles, wine and a good cause. More than a dozen local businesses donated to the event.

Organizer Jen Jedda and her team staged the event after a successful Corks & Forks fundraiser held last year, when attendees raised $1,200 and donated more than 300 pounds of food to stock food bank shelves. Jedda said she believed the event could help the food pantry as the holiday season began and demand for donations climbs.

“We were overwhelmed at the amount in [monetary] donations and food contributions for the food bank we collected, as we didn’t know what to expect going into the evening” during the first event, Jedda wrote in an e-mail. “After the event, we received multiple requests to do it again.”The event started as a way to bring together food and wine enthusiasts to enjoy snacks and aid the food pantry. Jedda said the recent evening yielded $1,954 in monetary donations and 586 pounds of food contributions.

“Any evening that involves unique and fun food, memorable wine and lively conversation with some of my favorite friends is hard to pinpoint a favorite part,” she wrote. “Although I think the general feeling of community, and knowing we all came together as neighbors to help neighbors, was a big part of what made the evening so special for me.”

Jedda said her favorite nibble of the night was ginger chicken salad in a sesame cone.

“I think that was a favorite of many, as our chef couldn’t keep them stocked!” she wrote. “They looked like little ice cream cones and were so delish. There were some pretty fantastic desserts, too!”

The organizer said plans for the event blossomed from a raffle as businesses offered donations.

“Once we had collected over 10 items, we changed our plan from a raffle to a silent auction, knowing we could raise more money for the food bank,” Jedda wrote. “Going into the first event, we didn’t realize the success it would be.”

She said the silent auction reshaped the event — and perhaps pulled in more money.

“People had a fantastic time mingling with neighbors, nibbling on incredible apps, sipping great wine and playfully competing with friends for silent auction items,” she wrote.

Warren Kagarise: 392-6434, ext. 234, or Comment at

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