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Press Release

Metro State Chef and Students head to Super Bowl to volunteer at ‘Taste of the NFL’ benefit


Contact: Tim Carroll, Office 303-556-5136, Cell 303-870-7705
Jackson Lamb, Cell 303-883-6947

Posted: February 1, 2012



(Denver) — While many people dream of making it to National Football League Super Bowl, not many can claim a 13-year winning streak like Jackson Lamb, Metropolitan State College of Denver assistant professor and chef.

On Feb. 5, Lamb and two of his students and three recent graduates from Metro State’s Department of Hospitality, Tourism and Events (HTE) will return to the Super Bowl in Indianapolis to coordinate the 21st annual Taste of the NFL charity event to benefit the Feeding America food bank system.

In his 12th year as volunteer coordinator, Lamb and his students will oversee more than 275 volunteers at an event that services more than 3,000 high-profile guests. Volunteers will present 48,000 portions of food in more than 43 booths, representing 32 NFL team cities and a number of local Indiana restaurants.

“This is my third year supporting this event and each venue presents its own set of learning opportunities and challenges,” says Todd Reenan, Metro State HTE junior. “This year all prep work and cooking will be done at a local culinary academy and then we’ll have to coordinate transportation 20 miles away to our event venue. It’s not Hell’s Kitchen. All our superstar chefs know this is a charity event and everyone is here to learn and support a great cause.” 

The Metro State team will be in supervisory positions, leading groups of 20 to 30 volunteers in areas of electronic check in, front-door entry, corporate seating, merchandise sales, silent auction, kitchen and culinary. 

“We teach our students about hospitality and events management, but without opportunities like this you can’t truly gain experience on this type of scale,” Lamb says. “Kitchen supervision, high-volume production, catering, merchandise sales, VIP service, we work it all.” 

Student and alumni volunteers are paying their own way to Indianapolis so they can learn management responsibility at a nationally recognized event that brings together all components of event management, tourism and hospitality. Metro State students will be managing local volunteers, many of whom are students from The Chef’s Academy and Indiana University-Purdue University in Indianapolis.

“Last year, after all expenses, we cleared $1 million benefiting the Feed America food bank system, specifically to food banks in NFL cities,” Lamb says. “Also 3,580 pounds of food left over from the event went to Tarrant Area Food Bank in Fort Worth along with $366,000 in cash supporting local agencies in need.”

The volunteers will work 12 hours on Friday, Feb. 4, then 16 hours on Saturday, Feb. 5, the night of the main event. The Metro State team will be instrumental in prepping and working a VIP party Friday night for 300 corporate sponsors, NFL football players and celebrity chefs as guests. On Saturday, the 3,500 guests will be treated to food created by a chef representing every NFL team (Troy Guard from TAG represents Denver). Also, the official Broncos alumni representative in attendance will be Karl Mecklenburg.

Taste of the NFL raises money and awareness to kick hunger across America, and directly supports the Feeding America system of Food Banks in every NFL city. The Food Bank of the Rockies is the Feeding America’s Colorado beneficiary. During the past 21 years, the Taste of the NFL has distributed $11 million for food banks through its Super Bowl dinner event, while raising $6 million from local fundraisers throughout year.

The Metro State team will pack up Sunday as winners regardless of what happens on the field of play as they fly home, with memories and experiences of a lifetime.

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About Taste of The NFL
The Taste of the NFL (TNFL) is a 501c3 that exists to raise awareness and dollars for hunger relief organizations involved in tackling hunger in America. The Minneapolis-based organization conducts national and local fundraising events throughout the year to raise money to combat hunger issues facing millions of Americans. To date, Taste of the NFL has raised more than $11 million for this critically important cause and is looking forward to its 2012 event on the eve of Super Bowl XLVI in Indianapolis. For more information, visit www.TasteoftheNFL.com.

About Metropolitan State College of Denver
With nearly 24,000 students, Metro State is Colorado’s leader in educating undergraduate Coloradans, and enrolls the highest number of students of color among the state’s four-year colleges. The College now offers master’s degrees in accounting, teaching and social work. It boasts 70,500 alumni, the bulk of whom remain in Colorado after graduation.