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Taste of Buffalo Presented By TOPS Awards Scholarships To Seven Western New York High School Seniors

Wed, Jun 6th 2018 10:00 am

June 6, 2018, BUFFALO, N.Y. – To support local high school seniors in pursuit of higher education in the foodservice and hospitality industries, the Taste of Buffalo presented by Tops has awarded seven students with a collective $8,500 to be applied toward their college educations. These scholarships are possible thanks to generous donations by the Taste’s event coordinator and Taste sponsor partner Smithfield Foods, along with purchases made by festival-goers at the annual food festival.

Taste of Buffalo $1,000 Scholarship Recipients:
Keon Allen from Burgard Vocational School in Buffalo will attend Erie Community College in the fall to pursue a degree in Culinary Arts.

Andrew Conti from Fredonia High School will attend Niagara County Community College and partake in their Hospitality Management Program.  

Morgan Gardner from Lancaster High School will attend Ashland University to pursue a degree in Hospitality Management.

Megan Kelley from Williamsville South High School will attend Niagara County Community College to pursue a degree in Baking and Pastry Arts.

Nico Zambito from Notre Dame High School in Batavia, N.Y. will attend Niagara University to pursue a degree in Hotel/Luxury Hospitality Operations.

Taste of Buffalo’s Culinary Advancement for Women $1,000 Scholarship Recipient:
Victoria Schaffer from Williamsville North High School will attend Johnson & Wales University where she will pursue a degree in Culinary Arts.

Smithfield Foods Deli Brand $2,500 Scholarship Recipient (Presented by Margherita® and Healthy Ones®):
Phillip Weeks from Emerson School of Hospitality in Buffalo will attend the Niagara Falls Culinary Institute to pursue a degree in Culinary Arts.

“The Taste is proud to support our future culinary and hospitality leaders as they take the next step in their career paths,” said Richard McDermott, 2018 event chair. “Congratulations to this year’s scholarship recipients!”

The scholarship fund, which began in 1997, has awarded approximately $88,500 to deserving high school seniors. To be eligible for this scholarship, students must reside in one of the eight Western New York counties and be enrolling in a foodservice or hospitality curriculum at an accredited two- or four-year school this coming fall.

About the Taste
The Taste of Buffalo presented by Tops is the nation's largest two-day food festival, attracting more than 450,000 visitors each year.  The 35th annual Taste will take place on July 7 and 8, 2018, along Delaware Avenue in downtown Buffalo.  The Taste is a not-for-profit organization with more than 1,000 volunteers helping to put on the annual event. Approximately $390,000 has been raised at the festival for local charities in addition to five $1,000 scholarships awarded annually to local high school seniors pursuing a culinary or hospitality-related degree.  For more information, visit tasteofbuffalo.com, and find us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

About Smithfield Foods
Smithfield Foods is a $15 billion global food company and the world's largest pork processor and hog producer. In the United States, the company is also the leader in numerous packaged meats categories with popular brands including SmithfieldⓇ, EckrichⓇ, Nathan's FamousⓇ, FarmlandⓇ, ArmourⓇ, Farmer JohnⓇ, KretschmarⓇ, John MorrellⓇ, Cook'sⓇ, GwaltneyⓇ, CarandoⓇ, MargheritaⓇ, Curly'sⓇ, Healthy OnesⓇ, MorlinyⓇ, KrakusⓇ and BerlinkiⓇ. Smithfield Foods is committed to providing good food in a responsible way and maintains robust animal care, community involvement, employee safety, environmental and food safety and quality programs. For more information, visit www.smithfieldfoods.com.