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Hamline Church Dining Hall will serve State Fair favorites as part of fundraiser

The 'Taste of Hamline' fundraiser will benefit nonprofits that provide affordable housing and work to provide food for children.
hamline church dining hall - Minnesota State Fair

Some Minnesota State Fair favorites will be available during a "Taste of Hamline" fundraiser that will benefit two local nonprofits. 

The Hamline Church Dining Hall, which is celebrating its 123rd year, became the first food concession at the State Fair back in 1897 – before then, the State Fair didn't even have food (read about that here). Now, it's one of only two church dining halls still in operation at the Great Minnesota Get-Together. 

Each year, Hamline Church Dining Hall serves about 20,000 meals during the fair's 12-day run, including favorites like Hamline Hamloaf, State Fair Swedish Meatballs and Brick Oven Baked Bread. 

Now, with the State Fair canceled, Hamline will serve those dishes, ranging from $5-10, as part of a fundraiser to benefit Emma Norton and The Sheridan Story. 

“Each year, a part Hamline Church’s Dining Hall proceeds are used to support local nonprofit partners,” Rev. Mariah Furness Tollgaard, senior pastor at Hamline United Methodist Church, said in a news release. "Even though the Minnesota State Fair isn’t being held this year, we want to make sure that we fulfill our commitment to support the vital work of Emma Norton Services and The Sheridan Story, especially as the need for their services has increased amidst the pandemic.

"The ‘Taste of Hamline’ is an opportunity to show love to our neighbors and a way to get a taste of some of the best state fair food.”

Emma Norton is a nonprofit that ensures hundreds of women, individuals and families who have experienced homelessness and challenges with chemical dependency, mental health or chronic conditions have a safe, affordable place to live. Roseville-based The Sheridan Story works to close the food gap among children who aren't able to get free and reduced-priced meals. 

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Hamline is taking pre-orders (order here) through Friday, Aug. 21, and curbside pickup will be held from noon-3 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 30, at Hamline Church, 1514 Englewood Ave., in St. Paul. 

"Taste of Hamline" is the latest event planned to give Minnesotans a piece of the Minnesota State Fair after it was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Some of the other events include local breweries serving their State Fair-exclusive brews, a 12-day Minnesota Fare event at Rosedale Center, a pop-up Blue Barn at local restaurants, a State Fair to-go box, and tons of State Fair food vendors are setting up shop around the state (find them here).

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