NJ Nurse Uses Food Blog for Charity & Small Business Awareness

by Staff
Ilana Ash cooking

Ilana Ash is not your ordinary food blogger. Ash’s love for food and dedication to making the world a better place has led her to use her platform for the greater good. In addition to her blogging, Ash uses her platform to raise money for charitable causes and is a full time nurse when she’s not hitting the hottest, new restaurants. 

Her platform, Foodie Fun Adventures, focuses on uplifting small businesses not just in New Jersey, but across the entire country. Her efforts have led her to writing restaurant reviews in Florida, Las Vegas, California, Hawaii and more. Ash has a dedication to making communities a better place, whether it be through highlighting the food at mom and pop shops, working in healthcare, or developing her latest, innovative charity. 

One thing is for certain, Ash’s blogging is more than just a hobby— it is a culmination of her efforts to ultimately give back to her community. With a growing platform and millions of restaurants still out there to try, Ash is doing anything but slowing down. 

1. Catch us up on what you’ve been up to since we spoke before your fundraising event in 2021—personally and professionally. 

Since my last charity event, I have spent a lot of time growing my social media platforms, exploring new small businesses and restaurants, as well as graduating nursing school and starting my first job as a full time ER nurse.

Ilana Ash Charity

2. Has your nursing degree helped you in your charitable endeavors, or vice versa?

Like anything else, being a nurse in a small community has given me some incredible opportunities for networking as well connecting with people I very likely would not have met otherwise. In terms of charity, nursing as well as food blogging make it very easy for people to be drawn in and wanting to help in whatever crazy charitable idea I have running through my mind. While both nursing and charity allow me to give back to the community and help others, they are both truly such a passion and I’m so lucky I can connect my profession and my hobbies into one!

Ilana Ash

Ilana Ash

3. A few months ago, you recently hosted a silent auction benefiting the Community Food Bank of NJ. Who were a few of the local businesses that contributed or participated in the event? 

My last event was incredibly special! We had well over 100 small businesses from all over New Jersey participate- whether it was monetary or product donations, flower arrangements, or baked goods; it was really mind blowing to see this come together. A few local businesses included The Pastrami House of Berkeley Heights, House of Blooms in Somerville, Smashie’s Crafties, the Boxed Boutique, Sweet Creations by Devon, Matera’s Italian Market, and many more!

4. What were some of the items auctioned off? 

Items auctioned off were such a diverse variation! While of course we had the standard giftcards for restaurants, beauty services, and fun experiences, some of our fantastic larger donations included a Blackstone Griddle, a lottery scratch off board, Broadway Tickets, and cooking sets. Ideally, along with the fundraising aspect of these items, this also gave me the opportunity to share new businesses with people, perhaps they would not have known about otherwise.

5. I know you also had some support from your fellow food bloggers. How does it feel to have support from your online community IRL?

I am so thankful for my fellow food bloggers. As I have connected with almost all of them through my social media platforms, becoming best friends in real life really gives a unique dynamic to our friendships. Soon after my first charity event, I mentioned having a larger scale event, and they were all over the moon to be able to join in and help. 

6. What do you personally enjoy about fundraising? What’s your advice to someone who wants to get involved?

Personally, I love being able to give back to the community. While I have been fortunate enough in my life to not experience hardships that would require community resources like the food bank, I have seen first hand how life changing these resources are to people and their families. Being able to work with our local community to have events that ultimately give back, is truly priceless. Secondarily, I am small business focused, so when seeking out donors, I also consider being able to involve these people and bring light to local small businesses that people may not have heard about or had the opportunity to try out yet. So it really ties together the community in one big circle.

I always encourage people to get involved in their community- especially charity and giving back; as you never know when it may be you that needs the resources. In terms of advice, follow what sets your heart on fire! Being able to bring awareness or charitable donations to a cause you truly care about is the best feeling in the world.

@foodiefun_adventures 2022 Recap of Foodie Fun Adventures’ Best Eats! ⏮️🍽️🥳 #fyp #foryou #foryoupage #viral #recap #food #blogger #foodie #foodtiktok #foodporn #foodtok #luxury #travel #nj #nyc #vegas #miami ♬ 2022 recap x viva la vida – 😉

About the Author/s

The New Jersey Digest is a new jersey magazine that has chronicled daily life in the Garden State for over 10 years.

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