Philanthropy a Key Ingredient for Top Chef Martin County 2018

The second annual Top Chef Martin County benefiting House of Hope turned up the heat April 14 with a packed audience of longtime supporters and many newcomers cheering on the feisty cooking competition while enjoying music and dancing, gourmet tasting stations, boutique shopping and highly coveted raffle prizes. Local amateur chefs Dina Roosth, Melissa Zolla, Dr. Brian Moriarty, Jennifer Stull-Wise and Tina Kraft spent weeks leading up to the event raising funds to support House of Hope’s mission to empower Martin County residents to overcome hunger and hardship. The overall score was determined by combining individual fundraising tallies with culinary scores. The expert judging panel comprised of Jason Stocks (chef/owner of District Table & Bar), Rachel Pias (chef/owner of Banyan 320) and Adam Fetterman (2017 Top Chef Martin County victor) determined the winners.

With her own take on “gamberi e grits” or Italian shrimp and grits, local artist Tina Kraft was named Top Chef Martin County Overall Winner. She also took home the honor of Best Dish for the highest individual points scored on her preparation. Fellow contender Dina Roosth was awarded the honors for Top Fundraiser, having raised over $10,000 for House of Hope’s mission. Each of the competitors submitted fabulous dishes resulting in very close scores across the board.

House of Hope thanks the following community-minded sponsors: Loving Chiropractic of Stuart, Andy and Lorraine Popky, Circular Recycling, Wallace Mazda, Jim & Elaine Matts, The Firefly Group, FPL, Deborah Lovequist, The Wong Family Foundation, Patricia Churchill, Gordon & Doner, Advanced Diagnostic Group and Whiticar Boatworks.

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Volunteers honored for over 42,000 hours of dedicated service

House of Hope volunteers and staff from across the nonprofit’s multiple locations gathered for the agency’s annual Volunteer Appreciation Breakfast. The April 4 event was well attended by over 130 guests who were treated to an impressive breakfast at Mariner Sands Country Club in Stuart.
All volunteers were honored for their dedicated efforts with personalized certificates of recognition displaying impact statistics highlighting over 6,000 people helped, 754,828 pounds of nutritious food distributed and a whopping 76,341 pieces of clothing, furniture, appliances and housewares provided to local residents in need. Throughout 2017, House of Hope volunteers devoted 42,898 hours of service across House of Hope's service centers in Stuart, Hobe Sound, Indiantown and Jensen Beach.
House of Hope relies on the energies of volunteers to operate its four Martin County Client Choice food pantries, four thrift stores, Elisabeth Lahti Nutrition Center, six nutrition gardens, production farm as well as assisting with special events and office tasks. Many volunteers are currently training for enhanced roles as career coaches and homework helpers for the agency’s Golden Gate Center for Enrichment.

It's a simulation, not a game. House of Hope, Martin County Community Foundation, and the United Way of Martin County are collaborating to host “Dare to Care: A Poverty Simulation” workshop Wednesday, April 25, 2018, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at the IRSC Chastain Campus in the Clare & Gladys Wolf Technology Center located at 2400 SE Salerno Road in Stuart.

Participants will be assigned an identity and typical circumstances of someone who is facing poverty in order to experience how dynamic and interwoven the common challenges are for local residents. The task is to obtain food, shelter, and other basic necessities by accessing various community resources during the course of four 15-minute "weeks." They will interact with volunteers posing as service providers such as agency workers, law enforcement, teachers, government entities, employers and more. This inclusive simulation will challenge perceptions and perspectives, inspiring new understanding and empathy for what so many fellow Martin County residents face.

The event is limited to 80 participants and space is filling up fast. Check-in begins at 8:30 a.m. and light refreshments will be served throughout the day. To register for the Dare to Care Poverty Simulation, CLICK HERE or call Lauren Mustelier at (772)286-4673 x 1004.

House of Hope is excited to invite Martin County students to participate in the first ever “Stamp Out Hunger Student Art Contest.” Student artists are asked to use their creativity and talent to help raise awareness about the National Association of Letter Carriers’ Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive and the issue of hunger facing our community. 

All contestants will be invited to attend the Stamp Out Hunger Kick Off Party at House of Hope May 9th, 2018 where the art contest winners will be announced. 

Three grand prize winners will receive a $100 Visa gift card, a t-shirt with their artwork, and a plaque of recognition.  The three winning pieces will also have their artwork printed on limited edition t-shirts and other items that will be available to purchase and/or order. 

When creating the artwork, contestants should consider elements such as:

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Local Doctor and Wife Host Sumptuous Soiree to Benefit House of Hope

More than 150 guests attended a private fundraiser thrown by Dr. Daniel and Marlena Husted in support of House of Hope’s nutrition garden programs at their grand waterfront home Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018. A clarinet foursome musically set the mood as the crowd gathered within the Husted’s extensive fountain-centered garden while they sipped libations from the Tito’s Vodka Martini bar. The weather was perfect, the venue exquisite, and the attendees were dressed to thrill.

Dr. Daniel Husted, a prominent orthopaedic surgeon based in Stuart, and his wife Marlena, appealed to their extensive connections within the medical community aiming to raise support for House of Hope’s rapidly growing nutrition initiatives. The program focuses on improving the community’s health via nutrition education, cooking and gardening skills, along with enhanced access to fresh produce via the agency’s four Client Choice pantries. Martin County has high levels of childhood obesity -- more than 30% -- and in certain economically challenged communities, that number is a high as 60%. With these same communities struggling with higher-than-normal rates for adult diabetes and other obesity-related illnesses, growing support from the local medical community provided a logical strategy.

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19th Annual Hearts for Hope Luncheon

House of Hope and 200 smiling guests celebrated the 19th Annual Hearts for Hope Luncheon Jan. 25 at Piper’s Landing Yacht and Country Club. The event’s new theme emphasized “Our Bountiful Community.” In the spirit of House of Hope’s flourishing nutrition gardens and health initiatives, the agency included several community minded growers and artisans as part of an organic green market to help showcase the variety of healthy resources in Martin County. The exclusive green market offered a variety of locally grown organic produce, fermented foods, hand crafted soaps and nutritious fruit spreads. Ground Floor Farm demonstrated how to create kimchi and Hani Honey took guests up close and personal with a working bee hive used to produce their popular local honey. Fresh produce from House of Hope’s aeroponic greenhouse and production garden was also featured.

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House of Hope Co-hosts Poverty Simulation for Local Leadership

Fictitious identities were assigned to 75 participants for the first ever Dare to Care Poverty Simulation held Jan. 17 at the Chastain Campus of Indian River State College. Notables from local government, law enforcement, education institutions, media, nonprofits and faith-based organizations played roles ranging from 7 year old impoverished children to 89 year old retirees struggling to make ends meet. Several private citizens and partner agency representatives added to the diverse group ensuring a wide variety of backgrounds and perceptions being brought to the table. The objective was to provide a unique learning experience for changing perceptions, inspiring empathy, and facilitating solution based thinking regarding local poverty issues.

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Check back for information about our next Dare to Care: Poverty Simulation being hosted in April 2018.

Gleaning Hope

We are now accepting sign-ups for gleaning volunteer opportunities! Gleaning is harvesting fresh produce remaining at the farm after a field has been professionally picked. This produce is often smaller or larger than what supermarkets consider “shelf-worthy” but it is still just as nutritious! Once harvested, the produce is distributed to our pantries instead of being plowed back into the soil. Volunteer today to help us keep nutritious fruits and vegetables available for our pantry clients.



For more information or to sign up, click here or contact Lauren Mustelier at (772) 286 - 4673 x 1004.