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Taste of Sudbury event raises $13K for Inner City Home

Gala event was held at the Caruso Club on Jan. 20
Joe Drago , at left, chair of the Inner City Home board of directors, accepts a cheque for $13,000, the proceeds of the Taste of Sudbury fundraiser, from Jana Schilkie of Jana Hospitality Consulting and Tyler Lisi of Mucho Burrito, who helped sponsor and organize the event. (Photo Supplied)

The Taste of Sudbury Food and Drink Festival raised $13,000 for the Inner City Home of Sudbury. Organizers presented a cheque for the proceeds from the event to the Inner City Home this month.

Held at the Caruso Club on Jan. 20, the event featured more than 30 vendors with each restaurant booth offering wares, samples and treats. 

It was a fundraiser that the organization desperately needed, was told back in January. 

Inner City Homes’ administrator, Ro Mullen, told in September that the Inner City Home’s food bank has seen a 42-per-cent increase in usage. “And that's not since the beginning of COVID, that’s since 2021,” she said.

Drago said the need is not only from long-time community members, but newcomers as well. “We had three families from the Ukraine come in, two of them had four children,” said Drago in January. “They've only been here three or four days, and while they have a place to stay, there’s nothing left for food. They're just wonderful people and so concerned that they don't want to take a charity, but they have no choice.”

He said a factor in this is the rising cost of food as well. 

“The packaging is getting smaller, and the prices are escalating,” he said. 

A dollar donated to the food bank used to translate to $6 of food, but that has changed now to $3. While they are always happy for food donations, Drago said, “With the cash if you give a $10 donation, we can buy $30 worth of food.”

The Inner City Home also offers programming based on life skills, and these programs, as well as the food bank, are all run by volunteers.