West Valley nonprofit cooks up online fundraiser

After a hiatus last year necessitated by the pandemic, West Valley Community Services has moved Chefs of Compassion online. The 10th annual fundraiser is set for March 5.

The event highlights the Cupertino-based nonprofit’s food pantry, which allows clients to “shop” for what they need to keep themselves and their families fed. For Chefs of Compassion, the pantry opens its doors to three professional Bay Area chefs—yet to be named for this year’s fundraiser—to pick out ingredients for a cooking competition.

Normally, each chef would create a course for a sit-down dinner, featuring live and silent auctions and honoring residents and businesses that also work to support low-income and homeless individuals. While this year’s dinner will be home-delivered and the auction will take place online, guests will still be able to vote on their favorite course and professional judges will also weigh in.

Former Cupertino mayor Richard Lowenthal and his wife Ellen are set to be feted at the event.

The fundraiser will also give staff at West Valley Community Services—which provides food and rent assistance to low-income and homeless individuals in Cupertino, Saratoga, West San Jose, Monte Sereno and Los Gatos—a chance to update supporters on the nonprofit’s response to the increased demand for its services during the COVID-19 pandemic. As of April 29, almost two months into the year’s first “shelter in place” order, WVCS saw its client base increase by 302 percent and requests for rental assistance rise by 220 percent. Executive director Josh Selo says he expects demand to keep growing in the first few months of 2021.

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West Valley Community Services also expects to move into its renovated facilities in the first half of the year. The new facility will boast a food pantry double the size of the old one, designed to allow for social distancing. West Valley raised $2,125,000 for the new facilities through a one-year campaign. Meanwhile, the nonprofit is operating out of a temporary facility in The Oaks shopping center in Cupertino.

Chefs of Compassion is set for March 5 at 6 p.m. For more information, email at event@wvcommunityservices.org.

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Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment

      

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