For several years, each August, I would tell you about the upcoming Taste of the Nation, the annual food and wine fundraising bash, and I would write, each time, that I hoped it would be the last year for the event. My reasoning was that if the goal of the benefit -- to eradicate childhood hunger -- could finally be attained, there would be no reason to have another one.
As it turns out, last year's was the last Taste of the Nation, but unfortunately not for the reason I had hoped. Childhood hunger, especially in Central Florida, is still a grave problem.
And it's still one worth fighting. So instead of TOTN, Taste! Central Florida is the new name of the event. It will take place on Saturday, Aug. 19, from 6:45-10 p.m.
Just about everything is the same as previous years: It's still being held at the Orlando World Center Marriott; it still features a bountiful bevy of the area's best restaurants serving samplings in the walkabout plan; and it still benefits Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida and Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida. And just as in years past, all proceeds go to the cause.
What's different this year is that it is truly a local fundraiser. In previous years, Taste of the Nation was a function of a national organization called Share Our Strength. While Second Harvest and the Coalition for the Homeless did indeed benefit from the tickets you purchased, some of the proceeds also went to the national organization.
So this year, all of the money stays right here.