Saying Grace over Life's Food

For all its recent successes, FFLN still struggles. The organization depends on volunteers, who can range from groups of motivated women like the National Association of Negro Business Women to the managers of Publix, who bring their employees on Saturdays, group volunteer days. They "look at it as team building," says Ramos. But more often individual volunteers are court-ordered DUIs doing community service. Thus the level of energy among some workers can be sluggish. "On the other hand," Teeple notes, "some of these people have tremendous skills that we can utilize."

Aside from a constant call for workers, FFLN needs more space. The organization is gunning for a 10,000-foot building with a kitchen where it can cook its own meals, which will cut down significantly on costs. To that end FFLN has launched a capital campaign. The March fundraising activity will be a "millennium dinner" sponsored by the Miami Beach Chapter of the Chaine Des Rotisseurs, featuring food stations representing each decade of the past century. Another will be a gala "Chefs Against AIDS" dinner in April, including a cocktail party at Johnson & Wales University and limousine service to a local restaurant for a four-course dinner (Norman's, Blue Door, and China Grill are likely to be among them). The purpose, of course, isn't to feed you so well that you feel guilty when you contemplate the circumstances of PWAs. But in the end, I suppose it can't really hurt.

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