Down Goes Hunger at Blue Jeans Ball

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bjb-2015-nerIt’s hard for any event to compete with the White House Correspondents’ Dinner on any weekend. However, the Capital Area Food Bank’s 12th Annual Blue Jeans Ball might have stolen the spotlight Sunday night.

Sure, President Obama had some great jabs and help from a ringside anger translator. But, the Blue Jeans Ball pulled no punches and dealt a decisive blow to hunger in the Washington metro area.

The knockout punch came late Sunday evening when Bill Conway, Co-Founder, Co-CEO and Managing Director of The Carlyle Group, announced a $1 million donation to the Capital Area Food Bank.

“This will allow us to reach more people with fresher food,” said CAFB President Nancy Roman. “It will push produce even deeper into the reaches of our distribution area, as far out as Manassas and southern Prince Georges County.”

The announcement, made to a crowd of 900 guests, put a defining exclamation mark on a night that had already raised over $441,000 for the CAFB.

The donation will be provided by the Bedford Falls Foundation, a private charitable trust established by Bill and Joanne Conway in 1997.  The foundation made the CAFB’s 2013 move into its new facility possible.

33The night ended as strong as it began. As soon as the doors opened, supporters, decked out in their fashionable denim, came in droves to partake in the silent auction and sample food from 40 of the area’s top restaurants.

Despite an amazing array of good food, libations and tunes thanks to John Jaeger’s The Elastic Waist Band, many still speculated participants wouldn’t last the distance given it was a Sunday night… and there’s work the next day… or kids and their school… or Game of Thrones… or whatever. However, all those concerns were demonstrably set aside as cheers rang out all the way to last call.

It’s now time to turn that merriment into nourishment. Recognizing that 22 percent of households it serves have a family member with diabetes, and 48 percent have a family member with high blood pressure, the CAFB is committed to increasing access to healthful food.

Nearly, 33 percent of total pounds that exit the food bank are fresh produce (see carrot). And thanks to all the generous Blue Jeans Ball supporters, the Capital Area Food Bank is already eyeballing ways to inject more fruits and vegetables into communities where it is most needed.