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Local chef holding dinner to benefit Blessing Boxes in Aiken

  • Updated

One of Aiken's chefs is planning to hold a dinner on World Hunger Day to benefit Aiken's Blessing Boxes initiative.

Jeffrey Hairston, the chef at both restaurants at Rose Hill in Aiken, will be using items from the boxes to make dinner at Rose Hill on May 28. These items include an array of nonperishables and canned and boxed food.

Hairston said he wants to show people how you can take otherwise mundane items and make something wonderful.

"Taking those products and turning (them) into something that we can have a conversation about and show how you can make elevated meals in a very financially manageable way is really kind of the point of it," Hairston said. "It’s just a really great way to highlight such a wonderful thing."

More information about the dinner, including how to make reservations, will be announced on the Blessing Boxes Aiken Facebook page starting May 1, said Jane Page Thompson, who helped start the Blessing Boxes initiative in Aiken.

Thompson was happy that Hairston offered to hold the dinner.

"The proceeds from the dinner will benefit the Blessing Box initiative for building more boxes to put them up in places where people need them and to maintain the boxes we already have," Thompson said.

Hairston is also in the running for Feeding America's Favorite Chef Challenge. Chefs from around the world are competing to win the competition through public voting. Hairston has made it to the quarterfinals, comprising the final 16 chefs. Voting is open until Friday.

Hairston spoke about the importance of Feeding America, saying that while many people focus on world hunger, they forget about the hunger in their communities.

"About half the country really doesn’t have access to proper food, proper running water, proper sanitation," Hairston said. "So, it’s really nice to be able to focus back on the United States and really what our issues are here and I think Feeding America is a wonderful organization that does that.

"I think, as a whole, we really need to circle back on and take a focus in the areas in your town or your city where people are really struggling," Hairston continued.

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