DC Central Kitchen fundraiser Sound Bites is back again

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Entertainment,Food and Drink,Robert Fulton

Sound Bites? More like a plateful considering how much the event has grown in recent years.

Now in its fourth year, Sound Bites is one of DC Central Kitchen's annual fundraising events. This year's installment features 25 eateries and seven bands taking over multiple blocks around the 9:30 Club. Sound Bites starts at 1 p.m. on Sunday.

"Every year it just gets bigger and bigger," said Paul Day, DC Central Kitchen's communications manager. "It's going to be really great."

DC Central Kitchen serves 5,000 meals a day to area homeless shelters. The nonprofit also offers job training, healthy food distribution and local farm partnerships. All proceeds from Sound Bites will go to DC Central Kitchen.

If you go
Sound Bites
» Where: 9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW
» When: 1 p.m. Sunday
» Info: $40; 877-435-9849; 930.com

When she opened Cork Wine Bar five years ago, Diane Gross received numerous requests for donations and charitable support. She knew she wanted to help out in some way and wanted to focus her efforts on hunger issues. When DC Central Kitchen invited her to participate in Sound Bites, she jumped at the chance.

"We leapt at the opportunity because it was something that was in our neighborhood and really was trying to engage a younger population of people starting to think about supporting good causes," Gross said. "We were all for it."

One of DC Central Kitchen's most popular events each year is its Capital Food Fight. The idea behind establishing Sound Bites was to offer a cooler, more accessible event for DCCK supporters.

"A lot of people know DC Central Kitchen from our events, specifically the Capital Food Fight," Day said. "We were thinking about a way -- we've always been kind of an edgy, cool organization -- how do we bring music into this? How do we reach a younger audience that may be foodies but they may not be able to afford the $200 tickets at Food Fight."

One of the highlights this year is the second annual Mixology Madness competition. Mixologists from local bars will be told a secret ingredient on Sunday and then will compete to create a cocktail. Judges will determine the winners.

In addition to the 25 restaurants and food trucks offering free tastings with admission, seven bands and DJs are set to perform.

Gross added that Sound Bites doesn't even feel like a fundraising event but more like a block party.

"You wouldn't actually know it's a benefit," Gross said. "It's a lot of people from the neighborhood having fun, drinking and eating, listening to music, relaxing. It's like a giant block party."

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