Students eat half off at second annual Great WNY Kidney Bean Cook-Off


Kelsie Engert, Reporter

The 2nd Annual Great WNY Kidney Bean Cook-Off will be held on Thursday, Nov. 8 in the atrium of SUNY Erie County College to benefit the Kidney Foundation of Western New York.

The Kidney Foundation of Western New York (KFWNY) partners with SUNY ECC culinary students, who work in teams with their instructors to create a bean-themed dish to compete in the Great WNY Kidney Bean Cook-off. There’s one catch: chili is prohibited from the contest.

Attendees will get to taste all of the dishes and vote for a “fan favorite.” Celebrity guest judges then decide which team has the best kidney bean-themed dish.

In addition to the cook-off, there will be live music and basket raffles. The event begins at 5:30 p.m. and will end at 8:00 p.m. Tickets are $25 per person, and can be purchased at College students receive a discounted ticket price at half-off when they use the coupon code “Student” at checkout.

Event Co-Chair Christopher Gengo shared his excitement in the student-learning aspect of the event stating, “They [students] are able to engage and share in what they’re learning. It’s a wonderful event. The students are the stars and the cause brings us all together.”

Gengo is the Director of Donor Engagement at ECC and a living organ donor to his brother. He has served on the KFWNY advisory board since 2015.

“I want people to have a good time, and think wow, this is a cool event,” said Gengo. “ I want people to think about their own personal health and how can they address the challenges of kidney health.”

All event proceeds will go towards the KFWNY programs and services. The Kidney Foundation of Western New York is a non-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness of kidney disease and supporting patients who suffer from kidney disease.