Midwest Food Bank Bloomington Normal held their annual Gala Dinner and Auction on Saturday, April 6, 2019. Upon arriving, guests enjoyed appetizers while perusing and bidding on silent auction items. 

Upon being seated for the dinner, Gala attendees heard a first-hand account of needs in their community. Megan Whitecotton from Danvers Community Food Pantry, who also runs a Backpack Program, shared her insights and stories. Megan picks up food from MFB, sorts it into individual bags, and distributes to the schools to send home on Friday afternoons in students' backpacks. This ensures children on the free or reduced lunch programs have food to eat over the weekend. Megan also shared about the food desert throughout the areas she serves in Central, IL where often times the only food source is a local gas station.

Following dinner, a lively live auction was held. During the auction, there was an opportunity to sponsor a child for the Backpack Program. It takes just $50 to sponsor one child each weekend for an entire school year. Gala attendees sponsored 600 children! 

The gala was the largest held for MFB Bloomington-Normal. Nearly 400 tickets were sold for the dinner. That, combined with the silent and live auctions, raised over $100,000

Thank you to gala attendees who were inspired to give so graciously. Thank you to the many volunteers and staff who gave of their time and skills to make the gala a success.

Vallet parking as guests arrive
MFB Development director, Jada Hoerr, and her husband, Jeff, greeted guests as they arrived.
The appetizer table was a popular place.
Guests bidding on silent auction items
Table settings
Guests seated for the dinner
MFB Bloomington-Normal Executive Director, Tara Ingham, interviews Megan Whitecotton.
The meal is plated and served.
Lively live auction.
Seated for the auction
Auctioneer Clark Stoller kept things hopping.
Confirming bids