Community Cooperative premieres the first Plate It Up Chef Challenge during a Nov. 12 Facebook Live

The challenge is designed to showcase the creativity of area chefs while highlighting Community Cooperative's efforts in meeting growing food needs
By: Community Cooperative
FORT MYERS, Fla. - Nov. 5, 2020 - PRLog -- Community Cooperative premieres the first Plate It Up Chef Challenge video series on Facebook Nov. 12 at 8 p.m. featuring Chef Harold Balink of Harold's Restaurant.

For the video series, Community Cooperative challenged three local chefs to participate in the Plate It Up Chef Challenge, inviting them to create dishes using ingredients donated to the Community Cooperative pantry.

"When our cooks at Community Cooperative receive donations of fresh or canned ingredients, they must get creative to prepare meals for our soup kitchen or Meals On Wheels program," said Stefanie Edwards, chief development and operating officer for Community Cooperative. "It requires quick thinking and ingenuity in the kitchen to make the best use of ingredients so Community Cooperative can feed our hungry clients."

The goal of the series is to raise awareness about the challenges the Community Cooperative team faces in feeding the hungry in Southwest Florida. Each participating chef was given a basket of mystery ingredients, similar to the types of fresh and canned food products that Community Cooperative chefs receive and cook with at the soup kitchen. Chef Balink was then given a time limit to create a dish using the ingredients for local celebrity "tasters" to try.

"I appreciate the opportunity to support Community Cooperative and their commitment to feeding the hungry in our community," said Balink. "As a chef, I'm always up for a challenge in the kitchen and it's an honor to participate. The Plate It Up Challenge is a fun, engaging way to raise awareness for the ways Community Cooperative is stepping up to the plate to feed those affected by hunger and homelessness."

To view the Plate It Up Challenge featuring Chef Harold Balink, simply log onto Community Cooperative's Facebook page at on Thursday, Nov. 12 at 8 p.m. Additionally, Community Cooperative invites the community to get involved by hosting a Watch Party, volunteering or donating at (

About Community Cooperative
For more than 35 years, Community Cooperative has worked to effectively eliminate hunger and homelessness in Lee County while simultaneously inspiring and supporting sustained positive change in its clients by delivering innovative food, education and social service programs. With a dedicated team of volunteers, board of directors and staff, Community Cooperative stays committed to its core responsibility to collect and distribute resources through a strong and viable network of community partners. For more resources and information, contact Monetary donations are always welcomed and can be made directly at, or mailed to: Community Cooperative, P.O. Box 2143, Fort Myers, FL 33902.

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