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Mission holding first food festival

The city of Mission will promote its entrepreneurial spirit while showcasing local restaurants.

On Thursday, October 24, the city of Mission will launch its first ever Foodpreneur Fest to celebrate Rio Grande Valley entrepreneurs in the food industry while also serving as a fundraiser for Mission’s Food Pantry.

Foodpreneur2019LogoEach year, the festival will honor the accomplishments of one local food entrepreneur. Mission’s Pilar Gonzalez of Dip It by Pilar has been announced as the festival’s first honoree. Gonzalez, whose yogurt dips have earned her company recognition from the city and from H-E-B, was recently recognized as a finalist for Stacey’s rise Project which is aimed at sponsoring female business owners in the food industry.

“Pilar’s recent recognition as the first Texan to be a Stacy’s Rise Project finalist reminds us of the immense talent the Valley has to offer the food industry.” Daniel Silva, Mission EDC CEO said. “What better way to cheer her on than by hosting an event that will celebrate her accomplishments while highlighting the delicious food of the RGV?”

The festival will take place at the Mission Event Center. Foodpreneur Fest attendees will enjoy edible samples from restaurants and food vendors, samples by L&F Distributors, as well as a cooking competition with a grand prize of $1,000. All ticket proceeds will benefit the Mission Food Pantry, which provides support for more than 100 families per week.

As of Wednesday, the Mission Food Pantry has serviced 3,053 individuals-or 785 families this year, Mission social Services Director Adela Ortega said.

“There’s always a need for more supplies since we’re a donation-based organization and we are the only one in the four nearby counties open every day,” Ortega said of the food pantry. “This is the first time we are partnering with the city to receive donations and it will serve us greatly with the holidays coming up.”

The food pantry, Ortega explained, is open to all who are in an emergency-ranging from becoming unemployed or losing their home. Hungry individuals only need to provide a picture I.D. to receive the food in an emergency basis and don’t need to be a Mission resident to receive help.

In addition to enjoying an evening celebrating RGV food, Foodpreneur Fest will host the Dip It Challenge, a competition in search of the best recipe using Dip It by Pilar as one of its ingredients. A panel of expert judges will pick a winning recipe and award a grand prize of $1,000.

Tickets to the event are available for $20 at the Eventbrite website. For more information, email Cristina Garza, Mission EDC director of social impact, at

This article originally appeared in the Friday Oct. 11, 2019 issue of the Progress Times.

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