2013 Schmidt Associates Chili Cook Off for Second Helpings Inc.

Posted on by Drew Gingrich

Recently, Schmidt Associates had their annual chili cook off! This was my second year to partake in the cook off, and this time I was asked to help organize and make it happen! 

Every year, a charity or organization is chosen to benefit from the cook off, and this year we decided to raise money for Second Helpings Inc. I was given the recommendation from a neighbor who knew a contact there. I contacted Second Helpings and they were more than happy to invite us over for lunch and a tour of their facilities. I was incredibly impressed how clean, efficient, and organized their facilities were. 

I had always thought of Second Helpings as a food pantry or soup kitchen. They are much more than that. I had no idea the extent of their operations. They have three major efforts; eliminating hunger, empowering people, and rescuing food. Their Mission: Transforming Lives through the power of food. 

Eliminating Hunger - Every day, Second Helpings provides food to more than 60 organizations that feed the hungry. Their staff and volunteers help to provide 50,000 meals every month from over 100,000 pounds of rescued food. 

Empowering People - Second Helpings has an amazing culinary job training program that gives the unemployed or underemployed a second chance to become a trained culinary professional. Their program is extensive enough to earn college credit! 

Food Rescue -  Lets face it, Americans are wasteful. What food normally gets thrown away, Second Helpings rescues from their partners in the food service industry. They collect food that is deemed to be safe and edible and serve it to those that would otherwise not have a meal. 

It was a no-brainer that this organization would be a perfect choice for our chili cook off. This year we had 14 cooks donate their special batches of chili. With over 100 participants, at $5 a bowl and several jean days, we were able to raise over $1,700. With a few more silent donations expected, we hope to have a final total somewhere between $2,000-2,500. Not bad for a fun little fundraiser. 

14 little chili's sitting in a row...

I was incredibly fortunate to work with the most fantastic people at Second Helpings for this event. They deserve every penny raised. By the way, did you know it only takes $1.11 to feed someone? Me either.  

If you would like to learn more about Second Helpings, volunteer opportunities, or how you can help their organization grow, go to their website Secondhelpings.org