EATS Fork in the Road fundraiser returns to an in-person party with a silent auction and opportunity drawing
Rockwell Listening Room will host this year’s event
Participants of this year’s EATS Park City Fork in the Road fundraiser have some important decisions to make.
They can either join a small, in-person cocktail party on June 12 at the Rockwell Listening Room, or enjoy the event virtually with a takeout meal from one of the event’s partners, said Meaghan Miller-Gitlin, executive director of EATS.
EATS is a nonprofit whose mission is to ensure students and community members have opportunities to develop lifelong and healthy habits, and access to fresh and healthy foods.
All Fork in the Road festivities will begin virtually on June 9 with a silent auction at eatsparkcity.org that will run through 10 p.m. on June 12, Miller-Gitlin said.
Items include four full-day lift passes at Deer Valley Resort, an artistic app party provided by Savory Kitchen at Gallery MAR, Swaner Preserve and EcoCenter membership and numerous gift cards, she said.
In addition to the silent auction, EATS will host an opportunity drawing during the night of June 12, Miller-Gitlin said.
“The grand prize is a three-night stay at a gorgeous house in Paradise Valley, Arizona,” she said. “We will probably announce the winner in a quick Facebook Live post that night.”
Tickets for the cocktail party and opportunity drawing are available now at the EATS website, and those who can’t participate but want to make a donation can also do that online, Miller-Gitlin said.
“Donations are being matched dollar for dollar up to $15,000 by one of our supporters,” she said.
The goal for this year’s fundraiser is $90,000, according to Miller-Gitlin.
“Our operating budget is $410,000 per year, and we’re $90,000 short,” she said. “So we hope to fill the gap, which will allow our edible education to continue.”
EATS’ education programs include cooking classes, discussions addressing food security and the in-school gardens.
“The novel coronavirus pandemic encouraged us to get intentionally clear about what we do, so we internally reorganized and now have four arms of work — advocacy, education, sustainability and food security,” Miller-Gitlin said.
The garden classes fall under education and sustainability, and EATS has expanded the program, she said.
“We host tower gardens at a variety of Park City School District schools, and we’ve been able to conduct in-person nutrition classes at Parley’s Park Elementary, because they have a greenhouse,” Miller-Gitlin said.
EATS staff members have been acting as an adjunct educator to bring kids hands-on lessons that tie into biology, science and math, she said.
“The classes also teach students social and emotional development, while giving them an edible education, because they can eat things they grow in the greenhouse,” Miller-Gitlin said.
In addition to the nutrition classes, EATS offered virtual cooking classes as part of the in-school curriculum during the most recent school year, she said.
“The main school we did that at is Jeremy Ranch Elementary, after a teacher approached one of our staff and said she was looking for something unique to break up the virtual school day,” Miller-Gitlin said.
EATS provides the students all the ingredients and the students hop online for the lessons.
“During these classes, kids learn how to like new foods,” she said. “It’s exciting to see them step out of their comfort zones, but also be empowered to try new things.”
In addition to the nutrition and cooking classes, EATS expanded its food security program, Miller-Gitlin said.
“The community stood by us as we pivoted a lot of our work during the pandemic to address food security to make sure our vulnerable community members had not only access to meals, but to nutritionally dense meals,” she said.
Through the backpack meals program that sends food home with students who face food insecurity, EATS provided 8,500 meals, and reached 800 children, according to Miller-Gitlin.
“The backbone of EATS’ work is to provide students opportunities to experience new foods or food prepared in different ways and provide a skill that is life changing,” she said. “Once you can make a meal for yourself and understand the basics of nutrition, you are empowered to make the best choices for yourself.”
Miller-Gitlin is looking forward to bringing back an in-person Fork in the Road event this year, after going fully virtual last year.
“Food is the cornerstone of our health, but it also transcends barriers of language and culture,” she said. “People sit around the table to share a meal, and in many cultures that is a way to demonstrate love and community. And like them, EATS connects with our community by providing them hands-on, applicable nutrition information and essential life skills through cooking, and tying them all together with sustainability and food security.”
When: Saturday, June 12
Where: Rockwell Listening Room, 268 Main St.
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