TASTE OF THE SOUTH 2019: Washington, D.C. Nonprofit Donates Nearly $350,000 to Southern Charities

February 11th, 2020 | Posted in Uncategorized

TASTE OF THE SOUTH: Washington, D.C. Nonprofit Donates Nearly $350,000 to Southern Charities

Taste of the South gives nearly $350,000 to 14 community resilience charities

WASHINGTON – Taste of the South, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, donated nearly $350,000 in proceeds from its annual black-tie gala to 13 deserving charities across the South and one in Washington, D.C. All 14 charities selected for Taste of the South’s 37th year focused on community resilience issues, including hunger and homelessness.

“The 2019 Taste of the South Committee raised the highest amount since 2005, enabling us to make an outsized impact on thirteen charities across the South and one in Washington, D.C.,” said Ryann DuRant, 2019 Chairman of Taste of the South. “The funds raised by Taste of the South this year will go to 14 charities that strive to build resilience in their communities by meeting basic needs of the individuals and families they serve. We are grateful to our donors and supporters who have enabled our organization to contribute meaningfully to charities throughout the South.”

The 2019 Taste of the South featured charity, Extra Table, will receive more than $250,000, the largest gift to a featured charity in 14 years. Based in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, Extra Table combats hunger by providing food pantries and soup kitchens with nutritious, fresh food in 26 counties across the state. One in five Mississippians suffers from hunger, 25 percent of whom are children, so Extra Table’s mission of tackling hunger provides communities with hope.

“We are incredibly honored and so appreciative to have been selected as the featured charity for Taste of the South 2019. The TOTS Committee has worked tirelessly, especially those Mississippi committee members fighting to bring food to their home state, to the sponsors, to event attendees and to everyone who has helped tell our story this year – we are grateful,” said Extra Table Executive Director Martha Allen. “Your generous donation will have a major impact in bringing healthy food to food insecure Mississippians. Thank you for your support and belief in our work.”

The D.C. charity for 2019, Homeless Children’s Playtime Project, will be receiving nearly $30,000 to advance its work to cultivate resilience in children experiencing family homelessness by providing transformative play experiences. Playtime Project brings a safe play space to shelters around the city, creating ongoing play opportunities that nurture healthy development and connect families with support services.

“We were thrilled to be Taste of the South’s D.C. charity for this year,” said Jamila Larson, Executive Director of the Homeless Children’s Playtime Project. “We rely on the generosity of the community to bring the power of play to the most vulnerable population in the District. This support will allow us to expand our ability to nurture healthy child development and reduce the effects of trauma among even more children experiencing homelessness in D.C. We are enormously grateful to Taste of the South for this generous gift.”

Twelve additional charities from Taste of the South member states will receive the remaining proceeds to further their work to build resilient communities.


Background on Taste of the South:

The Taste of the South organization was founded in 1982 by a group of southern transplants in the nation’s capital as a way to celebrate the spirit and cuisine of the South while supporting causes in the states they called home. The first official Taste of the South event was held in April 1983 and featured 12 states, with ticket proceeds going to charity. In 1984, Taste of the South grew to represent 13 states, and as popularity of the event skyrocketed over the next three decades, so too did fundraising efforts. Taste of the South has supported more than 240 nonprofit organizations over the past 36 years and donated more than $6 million to deserving charities.

The 37th annual black-tie gala was held on April 6, 2019, at the historic Washington Hilton. At the gala, each state was celebrated by featuring regional cuisine and specialty products donated from home-state vendors and organizations for the more than 2,000 guests in attendance.

Taste of the South 2019 was proudly supported by the Association for Accessible Medicines, Samsung, Kroger, Southern Company, Aflac, Bayer, Canadian National Railway, Koch, Quicken Loans, Volkswagen, and more than 250 additional organizations and individuals.

Taste of the South, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C., is in its 38th year of supporting charities in the 13 southern states it represents.