ASHEVILLE- Food Connection executive director Flori Pate said food should be fun, no matter what. The nonprofit’s newest fundraiser, Chef Dance Off for Food Connection, is nothing if not fun.

“Food distribution should not be solemn or sad; it should be a celebration of all the good food in our community,” Pate said. 

Food Connection’s mission is one that solves two problems at once: in normal times, the nonprofit rescues perfectly fresh leftover food from events and restaurant service periods and delivers it to people who need it. That helps assuage hunger and also keeps food out of the landfill.

During COVID, the majority of what Food Connection served to its clients came from restaurant partners instead. At local eateries like Pack’s Tavern and Wicked Weed, chefs cooked meals to order with the help of grants and the private donations Food Connection received.