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A native of the Philadelphia area, family and friends would describe Malikah Upchurch as eclectic. Her experiences in school and the workplace have enabled her to familiarize herself with and befriend people from all walks of life. Those familiar with her appreciate her positive energetic demeanor and those she meet quickly grow to love it. She enjoys writing about all topics from business to education and beyond. As a soccer mom, wife, and educator, she knows how busy life can be on a daily basis. Understanding that many readers may only have a brief moment to enjoy a story, she writes in a concise yet enjoyable way. Philadelphia is an exciting place to live, visit, and work. Eager to keep readers in the know about charitable happenings around Philadelphia, she seeks out and shares her discoveries with readers. She frequents events and festivals in Center City, Bucks and Montgomery counties, so if and when you see her be sure to share a friendly wave.

Recap: Taste Of The Nation At Hotel Monaco In Philadelphia To Benefit No Kid Hungry

Chris Murphy and Mike Jerrick from Fox 29's Good Day Philadelphia. (Photo credit: Arlette Houston)

Chris Murphy and Mike Jerrick from Fox 29’s Good Day Philadelphia.
(Photo credit: Arlette Houston)

On Sunday, April 30, the regions’s top chefs and mixologists gathered at Kimpton’s Hotel Monaco to benefit Share Our Strength – No Kid Hungry. The event, which was perfect for foodies, was sponsored by the hotel, American Express, Creekstone Farms, Fox 29 Open Table,  Sysco and other local and national sponsors, and 100 percent of the proceeds from this event benefit The Food Trust, The Coalition Against Hunger, and the The Pennsylvania Hunger Action Center.

Guests enjoyed three large spaces full of beer, specialty cocktails, wine, and food from some of the most popular restaurants. Favorites included, the pastrami bagel chip from Vernick, a citrus cured trout from Pennsylvania 6, shaved pork belly from High Street on Market. Kenneth Bush, Executive Chef of Bistro La Minette prepared a delicious pea soup. Bar Ferdinand‘s table had fresh yellow tuna in chili oil, and the restaurant’s representative Brendan raved about the outside seating the Northern Liberties restaurant just added.  The duck croquettes with aioli from Devil’s Den had the perfect hint of spice in them. Border Springs Farm, a Reading Terminal favorite, shared lamb ham with tender asparagus. Deserts included black sesame citrus frozen custard from Shake Shack and bacon-topped cupcakes from Sweet Box.

The Food Trust is one of the benefactors of Taste of the Nation. (Photo Credit: Malikah Upchurch)

The Food Trust is one of the benefactors of Taste of the Nation. (Photo Credit: Malikah Upchurch)

Guests enjoyed Acqua Panna Natural Spring Water and speciality cocktails, including some made with Siembra Azul Tequila. Guests also relaxed in Celebrity Cruises lounge, which was equipped with a DJ Kevin Kong from Marathon, two guest mixologists, and plush leather seating arrangements, which is all a reflection of the modern luxury the company is known for.

Attendees who needed a shopping fix, participated in the silent auction. Items included a “Does the Body Good” package from MilkBoy, which consisted of dinner, merchandise and show tickets. Sue Serio wasn’t present at the event, but guests bid on opportunity to join her on Fox 29’s Good Day Philadelphia to deliver the weather.

Local celebrities included Chris Murphy and Mike Jerrick, Serio’s co-anchors from Good Day. When speaking about child hunger, Jerrick urged guests to be thankful for what they have, quoting “gratitude should be your new attitude.” Murphy made it a family affair, as his son and wife were in attendance with him. He talked about last year’s success of raising $50,000, and jokingly set a goal of $51,0oo this year. After addressing the audience, guests toasted to “no kid hungry!”

The night ended with an After Party at Stratus Rooftop Lounge and guests leaving with free goodies including DelGrosso’s All Natural Vodka sauce and a wineskin.

The Food Trust was founded 20 years ago with a mission to “ensure that everyone has access to affordable, nutritious food and information to make healthy decisions.” The organization works with neighborhoods, supermarkets, schools, grocers, and policymakers, to change how people think about healthy food, and to increase availability to it.

The Coalition Against Hunger works with many programs in the region, including Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) and the SHARE food program to work  towards ending hunger.

Whitney Lomas and Matt Lowe from High Street on Market. (Photo Credit: Malikah Upchurch)

Whitney Lomas and Matt Lowe from High Street on Market. (Photo Credit: Malikah Upchurch)

The Pennsylvania Hunger Action Center focuses on advocacy, linking people to food, policy studies, news, alerts, and anti-hunger networking. The goal is to help struggling individuals meet their needs with health and dignity.

Since 1984, Share Our Strength‘s priority has been to end childhood hunger in America. Like many of the aforementioned organizations, the campaign connects people who are in need to nutritious food and provides education on how to access and cook healthier meals. The campaign has programs including Cooking Matters, which helps families stretch their food budgets, and breakfast and lunch programs in school. While local organizations benefitted from Taste of the Nation, the Share Our Strength campaign works on a national level.

Bistro La Minette Executive Chef Kenneth Bush with Paul Carrier. (Photo Credit: Malikah Upchurch)

Bistro La Minette Executive Chef Kenneth Bush with Paul Carrier. (Photo Credit: Malikah Upchurch)

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