I’m proud to report that in 2016, The Wine & Food Foundation of Texas invested $52,850 in our mission to support wine and food-related education and the general health and well-being of our community. With your help, we raised $25,550 for Urban Roots through the 31st Annual Rare & Fine Wine Auction, and contributed tens of thousands more to Texas-based organizations supporting health and education in the lifecycle of food and wine, including the Central Texas Food Bank, Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas, Conrad N. Hilton College, and the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Viticulture and Fruit Lab. In addition, we continue to support the continuing educational development of both chefs and sommeliers throughout the state. I invite you to read about the work of our beneficiaries and see why we support their incredible work. Our work in 2017 will allow us to continue to give back to our Texas community. We urge you to toast, feast, and give back with us all year long.
- Peggy Hanley, Executive Director, The Wine & Food Foundation of Texas
Urban Roots uses food and farming to transform the lives of young people and inspire, engage, and nourish the community by providing paid internships to Austin youth, age 14-17, to work on a 3.5 acre urban sustainable farm in East Austin. Each year, Urban Roots has a goal of growing 25,000 pounds of produce with their community of youth, community volunteers, and staff. The organization donates 40% of their harvest to local soup kitchens and food pantries. These 30 youth interns will participate in a challenging, rewarding, paid internship where they learn valuable 21st Century life and job skills, develop a healthier relationship with food, and become self-‐aware leaders.
In addition to annual support for TEXSOM, the Foundation provided funds for Sommeliers to attend, participate, and volunteer for this two-day, educational conference for both wine industry leaders and the community at large. The conference also supports the “Texas Best Sommelier” competition. This gathering is the largest of its kind in Texas and was created to bring together international leaders in the wine industry and provide an intensive forum and opportunity for high-quality continuing education.
The BackPack program provides weekly packages of food to children every Friday afternoon. Each package contains two breakfasts, two entrees, snacks, juice, and dairy items. This food gives them nutritional support over the weekend. Children who go hungry over the weekend have higher rates of absenteeism, and difficulty with concentration and adverse classroom behavior. In most cases, it takes a child who has gone hungry over the weekend until Wednesday to recover, only to start the cycle over each Friday.
The Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management at the University of Houston prepares individuals for industry management and leadership by providing a quality hospitality education and ongoing professional development. The Conrad Hilton College is recognized globally as a premier learning environment through teaching, research and service excellence.
The only dedicated freestanding pediatric facility in the region. Serving a 46-county area and beyond, Dell Children’s is the premier health care provider for children and adolescents. The Center’s Healthy Living, Happy Living (Vida Sana, Vida Feliz) is a clinician-led, multidisciplinary obesity intervention program which provides children and families a foundation for change through diet and nutrition education, cooking demonstrations, physical activity, family involvement, encouragement, and medical care when appropriate. The focus of the class is empowering children and their families to make healthy, lifelong changes.
Provides the Texas wine/grape industry with research into disease-resistant pathogens, namely Pierce’s Disease and Cotton Root Rot, which have been detrimental to vineyard production across the state.
Somms Under Fire is a competition in which three leading sommeliers battle their food and wine pairing skills in front of a live audience to win a one-week internship in Burgundy, France. The Foundation awarded the 2016 Somms Under Fire winner, Luke Boland, a $2000 travel grant to accompany his internship in Burgundy, France.