Hollywood celebrity delivers $10K check to volunteers

Published: May. 2, 2019 at 12:10 AM EDT
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By: Katie Kaplan | WCTV Eyewitness News

May 2, 2019

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) – A local group of volunteers won $10,000 in a nationwide contest, and the check was delivered with help from a Hollywood celebrity.

Five strangers were brought together by Tallahassee's Domi Station, which helps non-profits, startups and entrepreneurs get off the ground.

"I personally have never done anything like this before," said team captain Brittany Gress.

The work space was invited to participate in a nationwide competition hosted by WIRED Magazine and Jack Daniels called 'Pitch Distilled.' The objective was to create a sustainable solution to a problem that many communities in America face.

Domi held an open meeting for volunteers, with each member bringing something unique to the table. Gress is a graphic designer and her team member Tabitha Frazier is a conservation supervisor. Despite having full-time jobs, many of the volunteers contributed roughly 30 hours to the project some weeks.

The team decided on a mobile food pantry that would deliver locally grown fresh fruits and vegetables to low income areas.

"It's a 7-days-a-week market that will deliver to low income neighborhoods in need," Frazier said. "Over 20 percent of our residents live in a food desert area where they don't have access to a grocery store that sells fresh fruit and vegetables."

The Hucksters Food Market will service communities that do not have a local grocery store that sells fresh produce.

Roughly 40 percent of food in America ends up in local landfills, Frazier said. The market will also serve leftover food items from local hotels and restaurants, which will also help with food waste.

The group created a prototype and business plan and, ultimately, took home the grand prize. The check was delivered during a party Tuesday night featuring the competition's celebrity sponsor, Adrian Grenier, of "Entourage" fame.

Gress said the next step will be to purchase a food truck with some of the winnings and design fundraisers for the project over the summer. A pilot program is expected to kick off in the fall, run by the Tallahassee Food Network, which will then take over.

The team will hold a private meeting on Thursday, but said they are planning for a public event in the future. For more information,