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Taste of the Rams Helps Provide More Than 1.2 Million Meals for Angelinos

Posted Oct 16, 2017

Rams players, cheerleaders and fans came together for the second annual "Taste of the Rams" event benefiting the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank.

It was an evening featuring some of LA’s top chefs, Rams players, cheerleaders, and many awe-struck fans in one vicinity. As the 400 attendees sampled LA’s finest culinary dishes at the exclusive tasting event, many smiling faces roamed the venue to greet, take photos and request autographs from their favorite players on their most beloved team.

The second annual “Taste of the Rams” event, which was held on Monday, October 9th at the Globe Theatre located at Universal Studios, benefited the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank to assist their efforts in providing meals to less fortunate families in the LA region. In its two years of existence in Los Angeles, the Taste of the Rams event has raised more than $310,000, which translates to 1,240,000 meals to Angelinos in need. 

“We’re really pleased to be partnering with the Rams at the second annual Taste of the Rams event,” said Michael Flood, CEO of the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank. “It raises awareness for the issue, hunger, that we have here in the local area. It’s raising funds for the cause and it’s also involving the chef community. It’s a really great event.”

Honorary chairman for the Taste of the Rams event, running back Todd Gurley, has a history of service with the Food Bank during his youth in North Carolina. This year, Gurley wanted to play a significant role for the cause in his new home city.

"It's great to be the honorary chairman of the Taste of the Rams," Gurley said on the red carpet.

Gurley’s leadership included recruiting some of his teammates to join him in the effort.

“Todd was an incredible honorary chair,” said Molly Higgins, Vice President of Community Affairs and Engagement for the Rams. “Not only did Todd step up and put his name behind the event, he also used his influence in the locker room to encourage his teammates to come out and support the Food Bank. It was an awesome team effort to help combat hunger – an unfortunate reality for far too many Angelinos.” 

Gurley was joined at the event by offensive tackle Andrew Whitworth, wide receivers Sammy Watkins, Tavon Austin, Cooper Kupp, Pharoh Cooper, Josh Reynolds and Mike Thomas, tight ends Tyler Higbee and Gerald Everett, defensive linemen Dom Easley and Tanzel Smart, defensive backs Dom Hatfield and John Johnson, linebackers Robert Quinn and Samson Ebukam and fullback Sam Rogers

NFL Network’s Andrew Siciliano, who is also the Rams preseason play-by-play announcer, served as the host for the evening.  Siciliano introduced the players to the crowd and explained the purpose of the event and the work being done by the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank.

“This is my favorite event of the year because it’s a party with a purpose,” said Siciliano. “We’re not just here to raise a glass and have a nice meal. People have no idea how many people are affected by hunger and don’t know when their next meal may be. And you can tell Todd really cares about this, which is huge. This is something that he took part in and cared about when he was in North Carolina. I think that the great turnout from his teammates tonight speaks to that.”

The Taste of the Rams event provided unique opportunities for some of LA’s best local chefs to connect and witness the reactions of their “samplers.” The LA chefs were thrilled to provide tasty food for the cause and are excited the Rams intend to advance the event into what they hope will become an annual tradition.

“This event is a good way to give back. Obviously as chefs, our biggest joy is putting a smile on your face after you eat,” said Benjamin Udave, Executive Chef at Sysco’s Los Angeles. “But how many kids are out there that don’t get that opportunity? So anytime we can do something together as a team collaborating with the rest of the chefs that are out here… We’d love to do it more than once a year. If we could do it again, we’d do it tomorrow. The Rams are so supportive to the community, I can’t think of a better team, better people, better organization to help develop this event.”

Some of LA’s most decorated Chefs who supported the cause were: Vartan Abgaryan (71 Above), Dave Histed (Pavilions), Wilfrid Hocquet (GEORGIE), Ted Hopson, (The Bellwether), Bruce Kalman (UNION), Jessica Largey (SIMONE) Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger (Border Grill), Steve Samson (SOTTO and RossobluI), Adam Sobel (Cal Mare),Yoya Takahashi (UMI) and Benjamin Udave (Sysco).

For 44 years, the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank has worked to mobilize resources in the community to alleviate hunger. Under the leadership of President and CEO Michael Flood and Board Chairman David Bishop, the L.A. Food Bank provides food to more than 300,000 people monthly in Los Angeles. It collects food from hundreds of resources, which it distributes through a network of 625 partner agencies throughout Los Angeles County. With the help of 27,000 volunteers annually, 97 percent of funds raised and in-kind donations go directly to programs. In 2017, over a billion people are scheduled to be fed by the organization.