Chef competition will raise money for hungry Federal Way students

The “Chopped Charity Challenge” fundraiser is from 5-6:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 10 at Federal Way High School.

Three chefs will compete live to make the best dish from a mystery basket of ingredients May 10 at a charity fundraiser for Federal Way students.

Titled the “Chopped Charity Challenge,” the fundraiser is hosted by Bridging A Gap (BAG), an entirely volunteer-run organization that works to feed hungry students.

The fundraiser will be from 5 to 6:30 p.m. at Federal Way High School, 30611 16th Ave S. Doors open at 4:30 p.m.

BAG president and founder Valerie Danforth hopes the event will become an annual tradition.

“This is our first fundraiser we are hosting as BAG,” Danforth said. “… We’re a 100% volunteer run org, (so) every dollar raised goes to feeding a hungry student. … We’re just really hoping folks turn out for the event and help support this cause, because food insecurity is a really big issue in our community.”

The chefs will include Lisa Amundsen, owner of Red’s Kitchen and Catering in Des Moines, and Jon Maley, the chef de cuisine at the Palihotel in Seattle. A third chef is still to be decided.

BAG, which started in the 2013-2014 school year, provides food for hungry students over the weekends in order to bridge the gap — hence the name — between school days when students aren’t receiving free or reduced meals from the school district. Staff identify the students in need and distribute the bags of food.

The event will be catered by students through Federal Way High School’s Pro Start catering program. Young people learning about the culinary arts will create heavy appetizers based on the same ingredients BAG uses to feed hungry youth, Danforth said.

The event is free to attend, with a suggested donation of $75 or more, according to BAG. Proceeds go toward feeding students in the Federal Way School District.

BAG serves 18 school and feeds more than 300 students weekly, according to the organization. For more information or to buy tickets for the Chopped challenge, visit