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If you’re a foodie, then you don’t want to miss GastroFest 2016  on Saturday, March 19 at Hemming Park in Downtown Jacksonville!

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Last year, GastroFest 2015 took Jacksonville by storm — attracting more than 30,000 people to experience the best restaurants, chef demos, educational workshops and food panels, the kid’s zone and much more.
GastroJax’s mission is to foster and preserve local cuisine, educating the public about local food and beverage sources, local restaurants and North Florida dishes.

Special Events Tent

You’ll find the GastroFest Special Events Tent on the corner of Laura Street & Monroe Street in Downtown Jacksonville.

The following is the programming provided by the nonprofit GastroJax.

noon-1pm Beer Making Workshop Troy Orton, the brewer for up and coming local craft brewery Hyperion Brewing, will be discussing his experiences with homebrewing and honing his craft, as well as his transition from homebrewer to professional brewer.

3-4 pm Beer:30 Homebrew Competition Local homebrewers will present their brews in the GastroFest 2016 Homebrew Competition. Sponsored by Beer:30, with two locations, a tap room in San Marco and a craft beer beer store in Riverside. Judges from the local brewing community will determine the winner. The homebrews will be available for sampling during the event. No cost to attend or sample the brews.

4:15-5:00 pm Making Mead The history, art and techniques of making mead at home by John Harris of Harris Meadery, Orange Park, FL. Last year they took home home the Gastrofest Judges Favorite at our Homebrew Competition with their Key Lime Mead. This year, they’re starting their own Meadery!

5:30 pm Vegan Wine Tasting Sip and learn about some vegan wines; taste a little local vegan “charcuterie” from Fresh Jax at this ticketed event.

Tickets are $20 plus eventbrite fees.

More activities are going on at Jacksonville’s Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), located at 333 North Laura Street, next to the Main Library at MOCA’s Jacksonville Theater, which is inside the museum through the main entrance, and where all of the talks at the MOCA are free, and at Visit Jacksonville, located just across the street at 208 N Laura St.

For more details, visit the Gastrofest website.

Visit Feeding Northeast Florida’s Booth at GastroFest

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While you’re enjoying all the delicious food, which we hope to do as well, we’re sharing information about food waste and what each of us can do to help our environment by donating perishable items to the local food bank or food pantry rather than throwing it in the trash.

Did you know that the United States spends about $1 billion each year just to dispose of food waste?

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, food leftovers are the single-largest component of the waste stream by weight in the United States. Food waste includes uneaten food and food scraps from residences or households, commercial establishments like restaurants, institutional sources like school cafeterias and industrial sources like factory lunchrooms.

Amazingly, more than 12 percent of the total municipal solid waste generated in American households was food scraps and less than three percent was recovered. The rest was thrown away and disposed in landfills or combusted in incinerators. The decomposition of food and other organic waste in landfills produces methane, a greenhouse gas 21 times more damaging to the environment than carbon dioxide. Landfills are the largest human-related source of methane in the our country, accounting for 34 percent of all methane emissions.

Last year, Feeding Northeast Florida ‘rescued’ and distributed 21 million pounds of food to our pantry partners in 17 counties — food that would have otherwise rotted in our area’s landfills.

So, not only are we getting food to the one-out-of-six people in our region, one-out-of-four of them children, who are food insecure in our 17 Northeast Florida counties, but we’re also making a positive impact on our environment.

During GastroFest, visit our staff and volunteers to learn more, sign up for our campaign to end hunger — and find out how you can make a positive impact in your community by supporting our efforts to end hunger in our community.