Bengals tackle hunger at "Taste of the NFL"

By Kimberly Holmes – bio | email

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19)  -- Hundreds of professional football players, fans and advocates came together to raise money for the Freestore Foodbank on Wednesday night.

The event is called "Taste of the NFL," and this is the ninth year for it.

Bengals players, coaches and fans all packed Club Lounge West at Paul Brown Stadium for a taste of some of the best dishes that 40 of Greater Cincinnati's restaurants have to offer. From fish to bacon-wrapped chicken legs to lamb sausage with goat cheese, there were dozens of dishes to sample.

Tickets started at $150, but many of the fans said it was a worthwhile splurge.

"The idea that it's for charity," said Gay Middendorf.

"That and I love seeing all the celebrities," said Kay Dorning.

There's a purpose behind this party: proceeds benefit the Freestore Foodbank.

"The funds we make on this tonight, we'll be able to support families in all 20 counties in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana," said Freestore Foodbank CEO John Young. "And those 20 counties, we can provide a family of four, food for a week."

"I think for a lot of people, it raises awareness," said Bengals Head Coach Marvin Lewis. "So once they're here they always come back year after year after year."

One ticket provides enough food for more than 600 meals for hungry families throughout the Tri-State.

"It means everything to me," said Summer Genetti, pastry chef at the Palace. "Eating shouldn't be a privilege. It should be right."

"If we can raise money for people who may no have food on their table, it's important to do it," said famous Cincinnati Chef Jean Robert de Cavel.

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