Coupeville Farm to School school garden coordinator Zvi Bar-Chaim, left, and Julieanna Purdue, member of Cook for a Cause Planning Committee and farmer, deliver curbside pick-up meals at last year’s Cook for a Cause fundraiser. (Photo provided)

Coupeville Farm to School school garden coordinator Zvi Bar-Chaim, left, and Julieanna Purdue, member of Cook for a Cause Planning Committee and farmer, deliver curbside pick-up meals at last year’s Cook for a Cause fundraiser. (Photo provided)

Cook for a Cause fundraiser serves up ‘comfort food’

The July 22 dinner event falls near the end of a week-long auction, which runs July 16-25.

Coupeville Farm to School is saying “bon appétit” to Whidbey residents Thursday, July 22, as it hosts its seventh annual Cook for a Cause fundraiser.

The theme for this year’s meals is comfort food.

“That doesn’t mean that everybody’s going to be eating macaroni and cheese,” said Farm to School board chair Anne Harvey. “Comfort food means different things in different cultures and different people’s family experiences, and we wanted to create an opportunity for people to reflect on that.”

The concept of food as a form of comfort is especially relevant as the community emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic, Harvey said.

Participants can select one of five main courses. Options include shawarma spiced pork; meatloaf made with beef from 3 Sisters Farm in Coupeville; ratatouille, this year’s vegetarian offering; country chili and cornbread; and nasi goreng, an Indonesian rice dish. Fundraiser chefs will pair a salad, side dish and dessert to each main course.

Like last year’s event, this year’s fundraiser will be held remotely. Participants can pick up their meals at Coupeville Elementary School between 2:30 and 4:30 p.m. on July 22.

The dinner event falls near the end of a week-long auction, which begins at noon on Friday, July 16, and ends at 8 p.m. Sunday, July 25.

Auction items range from cooking classes and gift baskets filled with local goods, to six whole chickens from One Willow Farm and a year-long bread subscription from Little Red Hen Bakery.

Proceeds from the auction and meal sales go to the Coupeville Farm to School program.

Besides raising money, the event is also meant to showcase student achievement and learning.

The virtual program, which participants can watch at 6 p.m. July 22 while enjoying their meals at home, features videos of students demonstrating their gardening, farming and cooking skills. Participants can also take a student-led tour of the Coupeville Elementary School gardens when they pick up their meals.

“We have students involved with the program on all levels,” Harvey said.

Farm to School’s mission, Harvey said, is to teach students about, and help them become engaged in, the process of growing food and make them into “courageous eaters” who are willing and excited to try new foods.

More information about the event and auction is available at cookforacause.cbo.io

Americorp Member Casey Hazard, left, Coupeville Farm to School Board member and middle school teacher Wilbur Purdue, center, and Coupeville Farm to School school garden coordinator Zvi Bar-Chaim package salads at last year’s Cook for a Cause fundraiser. (Photo provided)

Americorp Member Casey Hazard, left, Coupeville Farm to School Board member and middle school teacher Wilbur Purdue, center, and Coupeville Farm to School school garden coordinator Zvi Bar-Chaim package salads at last year’s Cook for a Cause fundraiser. (Photo provided)

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