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Second Harvest in the 'Hood

By Amelia Levin in Food on May 7, 2007 4:27PM

2007_05_Simon.jpgApparently, Simon Cowell is a big supporter of the fight against hunger. Shocking, we know. But it just goes to show that just one day of working alongside volunteers of America’s Second Harvest, as shown on the "American Idol" show a couple weeks ago, can soften even the hardest of hearts (sorry, Simon, you can be kind of a toughie).

The organization serves as a network for more than 200 food banks and food-rescue organizations across the United States. Here in Chicago, Second Harvest’s network member is the Greater Chicago Food Depository. Have you ever volunteered there? If you haven’t, seriously you should. You get to package, organize and cart around food that will go to children, families and seniors struggling to make ends meet. And you’re like a saint for helping out when the “food insecurity” rate — meaning families not being able to consistently purchase adequate food — for Chicago is at 9.1 percent, one of the higher percentages among U.S. cities.

Now, apparently, chefs around Chicago are helping out with this fight against hunger. Superstar Chef Michael Kornick is hosting an event called Wine.Dine.Donate at his loop hot spot, MK, to raise money for the charity. The event, which takes place on June 6 at 6:30 p.m., will also feature works of art from more superstars: Chef Kate Neumann, also of MK, Michael Shrader of Nine Steakhouse, and Mark Chmielewski of Blue Water Grill, plus the editor-in-chief of, Tanya Steel.

And guess who else gets to go to this? You! Yes! For 100 bucks, you can feast on rare treats Maine lobster and white asparagus, braised rabbit, and other delights. OK, 100 bucks is a little steep, but the good news is 100 percent of that donation goes straight to ASH so you can call it an early Christmas and pat yourself on the back for helping your local community. Plus you get to be unapologetically gluttonous amidst four-star quality food, which is always our favorite way to be around here. OK, then, guess we'll see you there.