In 1957, The Foodsters decided to endow a scholarship program for young people coming into our industry, and sought an appropriate venue to raise funds and promote the program.  In order to attract maximum support of this effort, Irwin Gibbs offered his services in organizing a Cioppino Feed for Foodsters and their guests, which was held at the Leopard Café in San Francisco and drew a crowd of 60.  Irwin’s “crew” at that time consisted of Tom and Dave O’Conner and Bill McCormick.

From left to right, Tim O’Connor, Irwin Gibbs, Bill McCormick, Dave O’Connor

Over the past 44 years, the Cioppino Feed outgrew the Leopard Café, and is now an annual event held in March at the South San Francisco Elks Club, drawing crowds in excess of 200, who are served by Irwin and a vastly expanded crew of helpers.  Using Irwin’s famous recipe to get people through the door, the event remains our chief fundraising effort in support of the Foodsters Scholarship Program, providing tuition support to worthy students at UC Davis, Santa Clara University and California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo.  Leading the way in Foodster giving have been Rod and Twink Bentley, whose unselfish generosity has been instrumental in providing the foundation for four sustaining scholarships with a combined book value of $347,394.00.

Irwin’s Crew – 50th Anniversary of the Foodsters Cioppino Feed