Community Table, a new fundraiser for St. Andrew’s Community Cafe, will be held on Saturday, Oct. 5, 2019 at Cramer Farm in Howard, Pa.
Hosted by Bruce, Diane, and Lucy Cramer of Cramer Farm, the event will feature food prepared with ingredients from the small-scale family farm in Nittany Valley prepared by Chef Zach Lorber, instructor of the culinary arts program at the State College Area High School, and his students.
The Cramers had the idea to host a fundraiser for the cafe, which provides a free weekly dinner to community members each Thursday, after 5 years of a mutually beneficial relationship.
“The cafe sends us kitchen scraps to feed our pigs,” says Diane Cramer, “and we send back sausage that they can sell for a small fundraiser. This year, we wanted to do something bigger.”
The Oct. 5 event will feature pasture-raised pork and chicken as well as vegetarian options in a heavy hors d’oeuvres-style meal from which no guest will leave hungry.
“The Cramers have graciously offered so much produce for us to work with,” says Chef Lorber, who started his current role at the high school after 17 years as a chef in the area. “It’s literally some of the best ingredients we’ve had to work with, and the students are excited to have such a great event as the end goal.”
The volunteers who run the cafe are equally excited, knowing that while donations from Wegmans, Trader Joe’s and local farms, including the Cramers, go a long way to creating a delicious meal each week, funds raised from the event will help the cafe to provide even more food and fellowship.
“We get a lot of great donations, but we still need things like olive oil, salt, pepper, spices, butter,” says Ron Rovansek, executive director of the cafe. “Monetary donations allow us to keep making donated food into delicious free meals.”
Proceeds from ticket sales and the auction will go toward helping the all-volunteer staff at the Community Cafe continue to serve up food and fellowship.
Maggie Anderson, editor in chief of Provisions Magazine, which is helping to organize the event, says that the combination of groups will make for a fantastic evening. “Having worked with Chef Lorber for Chefs On Stage, knowing the quality of produce and protein the Cramers put out, and seeing the incredible volunteers each week at the Community Cafe, I’m certain this event will be like no other in the area.”
Tickets for the event are $75 each or $140 for two and are available here.
About The Community Cafe at St. Andrews
Since March 2009, The Community Cafe at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in downtown State College has served dinner every Thursday to anyone and everyone who comes through the door. The meal is free, everyone is welcome, and donations are accepted, but they are not expected. Since its beginning as a simple soup and bread kitchen to today’s hearty meal that includes one or more entree selections, multiple sides, soup, salads, bread, vegan choices, and an overwhelming dessert buffet, the Community Cafe also offers fellowship to the 100-140 diners each week. Follow them on Instagram @thecommunitycafeatst.andrew.
About Cramer Farm
Cramer Farm (350 Crust Road, Howard, PA 16841) is a small-scale family farm in Nittany Valley, Walker Township, growing produce for the Bellefonte Farmers Market and offering a 20-week CSA (community supported agriculture). The diverse operation grows all manner of vegetables on four acres as well as small fruits, mushrooms, eggs, chicken, and pork. Follow them on Instagram at @cramerfarm_howardpa.
About the Culinary Arts program at State High
The Culinary Arts program prepares students for entry-level positions in the hospitality and/or food service industry, as well as entrance into postsecondary schools of culinary arts and restaurant management. Students gain basic and advanced culinary knowledge and skills in the areas of food and equipment safety, legal guidelines of sanitation, recipe analysis, and quantity food preparation. Follow them at @statehighculinary.