About 500 food lovers will sample mostly Italian dishes from about 30 restaurants and markets in and around Hammonton at Sunday’s 10th annual Taste of the Town fundraiser, to benefit the Hammonton Education Foundation.

In its 10 years, Taste of the Town has raised more than $260,000, which has been awarded in grants to teachers and staff members, who must apply for them through the foundation. Another $8,000 went to St. Joseph's School for their libraries several years ago, said organizer Mary Gillespie.

“It has raised a phenomenal amount of money for the school district,” said Hammonton Board of Education President Joe Giralo, “to buy extra things the board of education cannot provide.”

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Money raised at Taste of the Town has purchased iPads for bilingual students, smart boards, extra classroom computers, document counters, cameras and book-in-a-bag kits for kindergartners, Giralo said.

Some participating restaurants, such as Joe Italiano’s Maplewood Inn on the White Horse Pike, have been with the event since its inception. It is bringing its famous clams casino, clams on the half shell and cavatelli Franco — shrimp, crab, tomato and basil with pasta.

Others, such as the Alley Bar and Grille at DiDonato’s Family Fun Center on the White Horse Pike, are participating for the first time, Gillespie said. It is making tuna nachos and cavatelli caprese.

Assaggio!, on the White Horse Pike in Hammonton, is doing eggplant rolatini; Columbia II, on the White Horse Pike in Hammonton, is making pulled pork and homemade cole slaw; Harley Dawn Diner, on the Black Horse Pike in Hammonton, is making homemade pies; and La Campagnola in Shamong Township, Burlington County, is doing house-cured salmon-on-toast rounds.

Students at the Hammonton High School Culinary Club are making assorted desserts, Gillespie said.

Guests can meet Miss Atlantic County Lindsey Giannini, a Hammonton High School graduate. The Atlantic City Jazz Band will entertain.

Tickets are available at the door and at Casciano's Coffee Bar and Sweetery on Bellevue Avenue and the Maplewood on the White Horse Pike, The Golden Feather and From Scratch Pastry at Sindoni Lane and the White Horse Pike and NJM Bank on 12th Street. Call Roseanne at 609-561-4244, Marie at 609-561-5029 or Mary at 609-561-8585.

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