Taste of the NFL Tailgating Party is Sunday, April 21, to Benefit the North Texas Food Bank

The ninth annual Taste of the NFL: The Ultimate Cowboys Tailgate Party is this Sunday, April 21, at the Glass Cactus at the Gaylord Texan. You'll need to get on your fancy-pants for this event, since you'll be mingling with some football players, Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders and some of Dallas' best chefs.

But, the real issue here is raising money for the North Texas Food Bank (NTFB). Jan Pruitt, president and CEO of the NTFB, points out that a really important season for hunger is coming up and this event will help "raise the funds needed to provide healthier, more nutritious options as we head into summer -- one of the hungriest times of year."

Proceeds from the event will help support the Food 4 Kids backpack program at the NTFB, which provides hunger-insecure school kids with bags of snacks to help at home during the week and weekend. As the end of the school year approaches, the NTFB needs to bump up their efforts since so many chronically hungry children won't be able to get some of their food at schools. The food bank will also operate Kids Cafes in at-risk areas during June, July and August. For every dollar donated, the NTFB is able to provide three nutritious meals.

Last year the tailgating affair reached the $1 million dollar fundraising milestone since they started in back in 2004 and this year the NTFB hopes to add $200,000 to that total.

Fifteen different area chefs will be at the event, including Kent Rathbun of Abacus, Jasper's and Rathbun's Blue Plate Kitchen, Graham Dodds of Central 214, Scott Gottlich of The Second Floor, T.J. Lengnick of Shinsei and Ernie Mendoza of Suze.

Tickets are $150 per person or $250 a couple. There will be a silent and live auction of sports merchandise, dining packages and other things like a dove-hunting trip and a private birthday party at the Perot Museum. Plus, the event includes live music from Emerald City.

Buy tickets online through the NTFB site.

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