EATS’s new motto is “Keep Calm and Carrot On,” and one way the nonprofit that is dedicated to empowering and growing healthy communities through “fun, food and nutrition advocacy” will do this is bring back an in-person Fork in the Road cocktail party fundraiser.
The event, which will feature live music performed by Lash LaRue, is scheduled to start at 5 pm on Saturday, April 30, at Park City Mountain’s Legacy Lodge, said Executive Director Meaghan Miller-Gitlin.
“We’re fortunate to work with Chef Greg Hansen for the food,” she said. “We’ve seen the menu and it will be so tasty. Plus, we’ll have plenty of vegetarian and vegan options as well, because we feel Fork should be inclusive to everybody.”
Registration is now open for the event at eatsparkcity.org/fork-in-the-road, and the goal for this year’s Fork in the Road is $130,000, Miller-Gitlin said.
“Fork in the Road is our big fundraiser, and it brings in about a quarter of our operating costs,” she said. “The unrestricted funds that come in through the fundraiser impacts our edible and experiential programs, which focuses on four areas — advocacy, education, food security and sustainability.”
Through advocacy, EATS, which is an acronym for Eat Awesome ThingS, sits on local and statewide task forces that provide fresh produce and food products for Utah children, Miller-Gitlin said.
“We have taught 150 total classes to (more than) 2,700 students for 225 hours of edible education, (and) through Backpack Meals, we provided 10,000-plus extra meals to our community’s children facing food insecurity and hunger,” she said.
In addition, EATS partnered with 17 community organizations and two school districts to maintain seven tower gardens and two garden plots — growing more than 600 pounds of fresh food — one greenhouse, and launched garden lessons online, Miller-Gitlin said.
“We’ve also helped divert more than 13,000 pounds of food waste from the landfill to composting and renewable energy,” she said.
The money for these programs will be raised through ticket sales and auctions, Miller-Gitlin said.
“We have an online silent auction, and we will also have a section of auction items that are only available to attendees,” she said.
The silent auction goes live at 9 am on April 27, and some of the online auction items feature two Blue Sky Ranch experiences, including a tour through the garden with a picnic lunch with farmers from Gracie’s Farms and a staycation.
“We also have custom ski boots from Surefoot, and a certificate from Rebecca’s Kitchen for their prepared-meal delivery service,” Miller-Gitlin said. “We also have gift cards from different restaurants.”
In addition, the online auction will feature a “fund-a-cause” option.
“If people are unable to attend the event but still want to support, they can donate directly to the different areas of our work,” she said. “We also have $11,500 in matching grants from a collection of supporters that will also support our areas of focus. So every gift will be doubled in our fund-a-cause section.”
This year’s Fork in the Road is also special because it marks the return of an in-person event, according to Miller-Gitlin.
“We did four dinners at different locations on the same night last year, and, itt was cool,” she said. “But it’s so hard to replicate the collective energy of people coming together in the same place, so they can see the same slideshow, hear the same child tell their experience about EATS and how we’ve impacted their lives.”