Chili Cook-Off raises thousands for Second Harvest Food Bank

Chili Cook-Off raises thousands for Second Harvest Food Bank of East Tennessee

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The chili cook-off is one of Second Harvest Food Bank of East Tennessee's largest fundraisers. The chili cook-off is one of Second Harvest Food Bank of East Tennessee's largest fundraisers.
Thousands of people put their taste buds to the test Sunday at the 8th Annual East Tennessee Chili Cook-Off in Knoxville's World's Fair Park. Thousands of people put their taste buds to the test Sunday at the 8th Annual East Tennessee Chili Cook-Off in Knoxville's World's Fair Park.
More than 30 different teams competed in this year's cook-off, offering up their very best to the discerning tastes of Knoxvillians. More than 30 different teams competed in this year's cook-off, offering up their very best to the discerning tastes of Knoxvillians.

By HAYLEY HARMON
6 News Anchor/Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Thousands of people put their taste buds to the test Sunday to raise money for a good cause.

They turned out for the 88th Annual East Tennessee Chili Cook-Off in Knoxville's World's Fair Park.

The event raises money for Second Harvest Food Bank of East Tennessee, and is a chili lover's paradise.

More than 30 different teams competed in this year's cook-off, offering up their very best to the discerning tastes of Knoxvillians.

"There's a lot to pick from. There's really a variety for everybody to try," said Quentin Forbes of Knoxville. "We're having a blast sampling all the chili from the neat folks here in Knoxville."

"We love the chili cook-off. Me and my family come and do it every year," said Andy Key, whose business The Trivia Guys entered the contest this year. "You're going to leave happy when you eat our chili."

The teams are competing as always for top honors, the coveted Best Chili Award.

"If you've ever eaten something awesome, that's pretty much what it takes like," said Key.

But as people made their way around, sampling all the different kinds of chili, they were also giving back to the community in a big way.

All the proceeds from the event are going straight to Second Harvest Food Bank, which provides more than one million meals per month for East Tennesseans in need.

"Now is our busy time of year, from now until Christmas, and we need the funding to buy the food," said Elaine Streno, executive director of Second Harvest Food Bank of East Tennessee.

$1 pays for three of those meals, so the $12 entry fee to taste all the chili varieties is going a long way.

"This is a critical time of year for us and we're just grateful everybody is here to support us," said Streno.

So no matter what the flavor of choice, from the mile to the spicy and everything in between, every spoonful is helping to feed someone in need in the community.

"Big or small, you're gonna get your fill and you're gonna get your fill of some good chili," said Forbes.

Second Harvest distributes food to nearly 160,000 thousand children, adults and seniors each month.

The chili cook-off is one of their largest fundraisers.

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