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Chili Hubbub will raise funds for area food shelf

There are chili fests, and there are chili cookoffs and even chili contests. But the Chili Hubbub fundraiser is going to be oh-so much bigger than any of those monikers.

Set for March 13, the new Chili Hubbub event is scheduled right in the middle of Minnesota FoodShare Month. And that works out well, since Chili Hubbub is a new fundraising event for Christian Cupboard Emergency Food Shelf.

It’s creating quite a … hubbub. The event will bring together 10 or so local restauranteurs, all of whom are making huge batches of their secret chili recipes to share with the community. And by the time the event is done, one of them will emerge as winner of the inaugural Chili Hubbub chili contest.

But the event is more than just a chili contest, Christian Cupboard Emergency Food Shelf Director Greig Metzger said.

“We wanted something more than just a chili fest,” he said. “This event will be a little more unique as it moves forward. It may be something bigger a community event in the future. That’s why we came up with a different name.”

Here’s how it’s going to work: local restauranteurs and businesses will cook large batches of chili. The public is invited to attend. For $10 per each adult, visitors can test a 2-ounce sampling of each of the chilis. Then, participants get to vote on which chili is the best of the best. The winner will be announced at the conclusion of the event.

“That’s 20 ounces, and 20 ounces of chili is a lot of chili,” Metzger said. “We’re not serving full bowls of chili. The people will be able to sample them all and then judge on the one they prefer the most.”

So what are these cooks competing for? A giant can of chili? A golden kettle? Well, maybe not a golden kettle, Metzger said, but there definitely will be a trophy or prize of some sort for the winner.

But the cooks aren’t the only winners out of this particular event. The 22,000 or so people served by Christian Cupboard Emergency Food Shelf will be the ultimate winners.

Since this is happening in March, CCEFS will receive pro-rata matching dollars from Minnesota FoodShare for all of the funds raised through the event.

A chili event seemed appropriate for the new event, Metzger said, because cans of chili are one of the most-often distributed food items given out through the food shelf. And because CCEFS serves families, Metzger said organizers wanted to create an event that families could do together.

“This is a broad-based opportunity for the community to get engaged. It’s $10 for adults, and kids 12 and under are free,” he said. “This isn’t a $100 fundraiser. Hunger affects our families in our community, so we really thought this was an opportunity to have families engaged in an event to raise funds for other families in the community.”

Chili Hubbub isn’t just about chili, either. There will also be a number of games and activities for everyone to take part in, Metzger said. Several family-friendly performances are planned, as well.

The event is sponsored by several businesses. Additional sponsorship opportunities are available, and volunteers are welcome. For more information, contact Greig Metzger at

Chili Hubbub will be held from noon to 4 p.m. Sunday, March 13, at Guardian Angels Catholic Church in Oakdale.

Michelle Leonard

Michelle Leonard joined the Woodbury Bulletin staff in November, 2014, after 14 years covering news for the Bulletin's sister publication, the Farmington Rosemount Independent Town Pages.  Michelle earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communications: News-Editorial from Mankato State University in 1991. She is an active member of the American Legion Auxiliary Clifford Larson Unit 189 of Farmington, and served as the 2014-15 Third District President to the American Legion Auxiliary Department of Minnesota. Michelle is also the volunteer coordinator for the Minnesota Newspaper Museum which is open annually during the Minnesota State Fair. She has earned Minnesota Newspaper Association awards in Investigative Reporting, Local News Coverage, Feature Photography and Column Writing. 

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