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Published: Sunday, 3/9/2014

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Have you liked our new Facebook page yet? Just go to facebook.com/thebladefoodpage. People bond over food, even in cyberspace. Come join the conversation as I eat my way through town and make new friends. We'll talk about restaurants, Oreos, recipes, ingredients, nutrition, cooking utensils, pizza, and other desperately important matters. And then there's the "Jam du Jour" - food-related songs to start your morning. Don't miss out! And don't forget, we're also on Twitter: @BladeFoodPage.

Toledo SOUP Finals Tonight

Toledo SOUP is proud to announce the five finalists who have been selected to present at its Winter SOUP micro-grant funding event tonight, March 9, 5-8 p.m. at the Toledo School for the Arts' Flying Pig Cafe (333 14th St., Toledo).

Toledo SOUP is an all volunteer effort that coordinates crowd-funding ideas for low cost projects with a big community impact. The public is invited to help raise funds and decide who will take home the money to fund an endeavor, all while enjoying a complimentary meal of soup, salad, and bread from local chefs. All funds collected at the event go directly to the winning presenter selected by the attending guests.

The five finalists are: East Toledo Phase I/Public Art, artist-designed and painted public fixtures to beautify Main Street on the East Side; Fertile Grounds Radio, broadcast equipment for a local Internet blog radio broadcast focusing on the Toledo community; GlassCity Goat Girls Return, an agribusiness looking to establish an urban goat farm; New Life Urban Agriculture, local production of high-quality organic mushrooms; and SibShops, workshops for kids ages 9-15 years who have a brother or sister with special needs.

For more information, please go to toledosoup.com.

March for Meals

"March for Meals" is a nationwide campaign to create awareness of senior hunger, in an effort to combat and end the increasing need for food assistance. During the week of March 17-21, area officials - mayors, administrators, judges, trustees, commissioners, prosecutors, clerks, treasurers, and many more - will be helping the Meals on Wheels Association in delivering warm, nutritious meals to older adults in our community.

The Munchies

The public has the chance to weigh in on mouth-watering nominees served up by an expert panel of taste-makers with The Munchies: People’s Choice Food Awards. From Best Food City to Best Food Truck, Best Chef to Best Craft Brewery, we - the people - have the chance to vote on our food favorites daily through March 31 at Tablespoon.com/themunchies. “Food is an integral part of our individual lives and communal culture in America. I’m always fascinated to see what the public considers desirable and worthy of applause via this unparalleled online food awards program,” said James Beard award-winning television personality and chef Andrew Zimmern. “The Munchies provides a unique opportunity to spark a national conversation about fantastic food and empowers the public to voice who is most deserving."

The nominating panel of more than 40 food celebrities determined the 100 Munchies nominees across three groups of categories:

· Terrific Tastemakers gives props to the media and personalities who make the food world delicious

· Best Bites honors the most intriguing interpretations of our favorite foods

· Delicious Destinations pays homage to the haunts that keep us coming back for more

You can vote once per day, and the winners will be announced on Tablespoon.com in early April. A donation to Feeding America will be made on behalf of all of the voters and panelists.

A Cleveland classic

More good news for Ohio from The James Beard Foundation: Sokolowski’s University Inn in Cleveland has been named one of the five recipients of the 2014 America’s Classics Award presented by Coca-Cola. This tremendous honor "is given to restaurants that have timeless appeal and are beloved for quality food that reflects the character of their community."“Every year, the America’s Classics Awards are a favorite part of the ceremony,” said Susan Ungaro, president of the James Beard Foundation. “These honorees represent the unique American dream of people who have created enduring, quality restaurants and food establishments that reflect the character and hospitality of their cities and community.”The honorees will be celebrated at the annual James Beard Foundation Awards, the culinary industry’s most prestigious recognition program, on Monday, May 5.

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