Two Triangle organizationsFarmer Foodshare ( and the Inter-Faith Council for Social Service ( together other recently with a similar goal: to find a way to provide fresh local food to families in need during the holidays. The demand was apparent, but the path to providing that food was less clear. The group wanted to help 420 families.

“I realized we’d need to make 840 bags of fresh food between November and December,” explains Margaret Gifford, founder and co-director of Farmer Foodshare, a group that formed a year and a half ago. “That’s more food than we’ve ever tried to raise in a specific way, in a specific amount of time and with specific foods in mind,” Gifford says. But with the help of Eastern Carolina Organics, local farmers including Daniel Tolfree of Millarckee Farms and Ken Dawson and Libby Outlaw of Maple Spring Gardens Farm, and the South Estes and Carrboro farmers markets, Farmer Foodshare and IFC hit their mark for Thanksgiving, filling 443 bags with fresh produce like local greens and sweet potatoes in addition to nonperishable goods. Now, says Gifford, it’s time do it all again.

Farmer Foodshare is raising money to purchase produce on Saturday, Dec. 18. The organization then wants to distribute 420 bags of food at IFC between Dec. 21 and 23. To support the campaign, visit a Farmer Foodshare booth at the Carrboro or South Estes farmers markets this weekend and make a donation (suggested $10) by cash or check, or donate online at

If you need help planning what to serve during the holidays, a number of local stores are prepared to offer advice. At 7 p.m. Thursday, Jay Murrie, an owner and wine buyer at 3Cups (227 S. Elliott Road, Chapel Hill,, 968-8993) will lead Great Holiday Wines: Tasting and Analysis with Master of Wine Sheri Sauter Morano. Tickets are $25 in advance, $30 before the event and can be purchased online at

Continue to pop corks and expand your knowledge of festive drinks at 5 p.m. on Friday. As a part of its Fridays Uncorked Series, A Southern Season (201 S. Estes Drive, Chapel Hill,, 929-7133) is hosting a tasting of five Champagnes. Tickets to the event are $17 and are available online at the store’s website. And if you don’t want to purchase Champagne in advance, plan to drink your bubbles at A Southern Season on New Year’s Eve. Beginning at 5 p.m. on Dec. 31, the store is offering a second Champagne event with caviar. Tickets are $17.

To prepare for the morning-after festivities, visit Whole Foods Market in Durham (621 Broad St., Durham, between 4 and 6 p.m. on Dec. 22 to get ideas for a holiday breakfast. Durham’s demo specialist Andrea Mastrobuono says the store will feature five tasting stations where customers can sample options including house-made quiches, which sell for $12.99.

Know about a fun food happening in the Triangle? Send it to Now Serving at