Giant Food’s annual Barbecue Battle goes digital

Giant Food is not letting a pandemic cancel its annual Giant National Capital Barbecue Battle to the digital landscape. Instead, the Landover, Md.-based retailer will be hosting it virtually, with free activities throughout June, in order to ensure the health and safety of participants, staff, suppliers, vendors and event beneficiaries, the company said.

“The annual Giant National Capital Barbecue Battle is a tradition that we look forward to every year, with over 100,000 visitors gathering together to celebrate food, fun and summer while raising money and awareness for USO-Metro and the Capital Area Food Bank,” said Ira Kress, interim president at Giant Food. “With the change in what this new normal looks like, our team was committed to finding a way to maintain all that while creating a truly unique virtual experience we can all take part in safely from home.”

Interactive programming, cooking contests, cooking demonstrations, recipes and entertainment among other activities will be on the menu, and the event will benefit the USO of Metropolitan Washington-Baltimore and the Capital Area Food Bank.

“D.C. always looks forward to Giant's Barbecue Battle for barbecue and fun. I am grateful that this year Giant is refusing to give into COVID-19, but instead promises an unprecedented monthlong virtual Barbecue Battle experience,” Washington, D.C. Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton said. “The Barbecue Battle's mission is ready-made to help residents face the pandemic confronting our region and we are especially grateful for the sponsorship of the Capital Area Food Bank & USO-Metro.”

Those participating in the events will be given the opportunity to donate $5 to USO-Metro and receive a digital form online that can be redeemed at any Giant location for a Giant Barbecue Battle Summer Fun Coupon Book, the company said.

“The need to support our military community members right now is greater than ever,” Elaine Rogers, president and CEO of USO-Metro said. “The annual Barbecue Battle has always been a successful event in raising funds for our military families, and we are grateful to our partners for the continued support this year through the virtual event to continue to do so.”