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Side Dishes: Leunig's, East Fairfield Community Center, Magic Hat, Cabot Creamery

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There's nothing like chowing down for a good cause. On Monday, September 8, Leunig's Bistro will host a fundraiser to fight breast cancer. All proceeds from the $50-per-plate meal go to the Breast Care Center at Fletcher Allen.

Chef Donnell Collins is whipping up a three-course wine dinner - including Vermont Game Pie and Chili & Coffee Braised Short Ribs - to be paired with music and a fashion show. The models are men and women who have been "touched personally by this disease," explains part-owner and manager Bob Conlon.

A few other food businesses are pitching in, too. Red Hen Bakery, Black River Produce and Farrell Distributing - to name a few - will donate food for the meal. The Windjammer, Scuffer Steak & Ale House and Silver Palace are providing prizes for the silent auction.

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Some folks are givers; others are takers. Last week, the food shelf at the East Fairfield Community Center was robbed of $550 worth of staples, such as rice and oatmeal. Left behind were a few jars of peanut butter and some ice.

The Center, which serves approximately 40 area families, is taking donations to recoup its losses. For info on how to help, call 827-3130.

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The prices of hops and malt are through the roof, but the only thing raining down on Magic Hat Brewing Co. is money. According to recently released data, the company's sales figures from the first half of 2008 are up 40 percent over last year's.

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Agri-Mark, which owns the Cabot Creamery Cooperative, has been ordered to pay $75,000 in fines due to environmental violations at its Middlebury "whey-drying" plant. (A whey plant is where the fluid byproduct of the cheese-making industry is converted into animal feed and protein that can be used in the production of beverages, such as sports drinks.)

According to the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources, the plant failed to notify ANR when it took in more whey than allowed. Additionally, staffers did not report how much phosphorus the plant was releasing. Whey too much, apparently.

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