NORTHFIELD — Nearly 30 area restaurants and bakeries will offer up their signature dishes and specialties for Beth Israel Synagogue's 23rd Manna at the Shore gourmet fundraising dinner Sunday, Dec. 3.
Food is the central theme of the annual event, which is a fundraiser that allows Manna to continue its effort to supply healthy meals to those in failing health.
Manna at the Shore was started in 1993 by Roberta Conners, Deborah Monheit and a few friends, all members of Beth Israel’s Social Action Committee, according to Susan Simon, who organizes the event as well as the monthly meal preparation at the synagogue.
Together, the friends prepared and delivered Thanksgiving dinner for 10 people with HIV/AIDS. Afterward they decided to continued to fill this basic need, making and delivering dinners for people too sick to cook for themselves.
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Some two decades later, Manna at the Shore has more than 100 volunteers who prepare and pack up about 2,200 nutritious dinners each month in the Beth Israel kitchen. The Manna volunteers and the South Jersey AIDS Alliance deliver the meals to HIV/AIDS and cancer patients in Atlantic, Cape May and Cumberland counties, according to Simon.
She said many of the restaurants and chefs participating in the fundraising dinner have been invested in the project for years.
“I really like to think they return each year and support Manna because they believe in what we are doing and our mission to feed those who are too fragile to prepare meals themselves," Simon said.
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The theme of the evening is “Meals that Matter,” which reflects the core of Manna at the Shore's mission: providing the most vulnerable in the region with healthy meals.
According to Simon, the money raised at the dinner goes toward the purchase the food volunteers use to make meals for those in need for the entire year.
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The dinner party will include appetizers, entrees and desserts plus a wine and martini bar with live music from Behn Gillece during cocktails and dance music afterward by the Melanie Rice Orchestra.
“This event is really a lot fun, and the food is wonderful,” Simon said. Area florists donate a centerpiece for each table.
The dinner will be held 6-9 p.m. Sunday at Beth Israel Synagogue, 2501 Shore Road in Northfield. Admission is $125. Benefactor opportunities are available.
For information or to purchase tickets see mannashorenj.org or call 609-641-3600.
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This years list of participating restaurants and bakeries include:
A Touch of Italy
Caffe Luciano Lamberti
Chaba Thai/Rama Thai (new this year)
Cousin's Ocean City
Dock's Oyster House
Harry’s Oyster Bar
Il Verdi at Tropicana
Knife & Fork Inn
Michel’s Buns (new this year)
Romanelli's Garden Café & Romanelli’s on the Greene
Steve and Cookie’s by the Bay
Stir It Up Catering
The Historic Smithville Inn
The Inn at Sugar Hill
The Mad Batter
The Washington Inn
Vagabond Kitchen and Tap House (new this year)
Ventnor No. 7311