About us

Our mission is to address the needs of the hungry and homeless by raising awareness and money through special events and programs.   

Throughout the 29 years, HRE has developed numerous programs and events

that all work to end hunger in America.  

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The Founder

Wayne Kostroski, 2010 James Beard Humanitarian of the Year, is founder of Hunger Related Events,, a non-profit organization that raises awareness and dollars for hunger relief. Now entering its 30th year $26 million has been distributed to food banks across America through its programs and events.

One event, most known for raising awareness and dollars for hunger relief during the Super Bowl, is Taste of the NFL. Kostroski founded the Taste of the NFL in 1992 while serving as chair of the Restaurant Committee for the Super Bowl XXVI Task Force. He created the TNFL’s first “Party with a Purpose®” that has since become a coveted event of Super Bowl weekend. On the eve of Super Bowl Sunday, 32 of the nation’s best chefs (one from each NFL city) and a current, alumni, or Hall of Fame player from each NFL team come together for a night of food, fun and football. All event proceeds support local and national hunger organizations.  In the past 29 years the Party with a Purpose® has helped create over 200 million new meals for those who are food insecure.

A well-known Twin Cities’ restaurateur, Kostroski is co-owner of Cuisine Concepts, a full-service consulting and management company offering specialized services to the hospitality industry. His entrée into the food and hospitality industry began in the late 1970s. A professional musician at the time, he was offered the opportunity to enter into the restaurant business as the beverage and entertainment manager for the Chanhassen Dinner Theatres and the St. James hotel in Red Wing, MN. Since 1980 he has played an instrumental role in creating and developing several of the Twin Cities’ premier dining establishments, including Pronto Ristorante, Figlio, Tejas, Goodfellow’s, and Bar Abilene.

 

Kostroski was also currently a co-owner of Franklin Street Bakery (FSB), a national wholesale bakery founded in 1990.  The breads of FSB can be found in restaurants and hotels in over twenty states.

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Affiliations and Associations

Kostroski has served in many board positions, which have included:

 

  • National board of the End Hunger Network, founded in 1983 by Jeff Bridges.

  • Board of Directors for Share Our Strength (SOS), a national organization of chefs and restaurateurs that support regional, national and international hunger relief agencies.

  • Chaired the Minnesota Taste of the Nation, which raised more than $1 million for hunger relief in its initial 10 years.

  • Member of the board for the Second Harvest St. Paul Food Bank.

  • Chairman, Board of Directors of the 50th & France Business Association in Edina, MN.

  • Past chair of the Edina Chamber of Commerce in Edina, MN.

  • President of Minnesota Restaurant Association.

  • Restaurant Chair, 1992 Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee.

  • Key Contact, National Restaurant Association.

  • Founded Let’s Kick Hunger Day in Minnesota; has provided over 10 million meals in its first nine years.

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Awards and Recognitions 

For his successes, industry involvement and dedication to the community, Kostroski has received local and national recognition. These honors include:

  • 2018 Minnesota Hospitality Hall of Fame

  • 2018 Charlies Lifetime Achievement Award 

  • 2010 James Beard Humanitarian of the Year

  • National Distinguished Service Award by Foodchain, a network of hunger relief programs

  • The “Entrepreneur of the Year” award in the Socially Responsible category from Ernst & Young

  • America’s Second Harvest Hunger’s Hope Award

  • The Pope John XXIII Humanitarian Award from Viterbo University, La Crosse, WI.

  • The Vanguard Award from Hospitality Magazine

  • Minnesota Vikings Quarterback Club Award for outstanding community service

  • The “Cornerstone Humanitarian of the Year” award from the National Restaurant Association

  • Mpls. St. Paul Magazine named Kostroski “Restaurateur of the Year”

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