Organizers of the Slice of Saugatuck food festival said they would donate $5,000 from the event's proceeds to Westport's Gillespie Food Pantry, which provides groceries to needy families.

An estimated 2,500 to 3,000 people attended the Sept. 15 event, organizers said, at which Saugatuck's restaurants and caterers offered up samples of their fare.

Matthew Mandell, Slice of Saugatuck founder and director, said in a news release that a check presentation ceremony had been planned for Thursday with officials of Homes with Hope, which operates the food pantry.

"The concept of food at the festival and food for those who can't afford it is a win-win for our community," Mandell said. "Being able to donate these proceeds from the festival is a pleasure."

The Sept. 15 fest was the second annual Slice, and a total of 48 merchants participated, up from 36 a year ago, organizers said. It highlighted a dining and retail renaissance taking place on the west side of the Saugatuck River and featured live music and outdoor activities.

Gillespie Food Pantry was appreciative of the donation.

"We are very excited to get this support for the hundreds of people who come to the food pantry each year, and that it comes from such a happy food-focused event as the Slice of Saugatuck makes it seem even more appropriate," Jeff Weiser, Homes with Hope director, said in the release, "

The $5,000 donation comes from festival ticket sales, merchant participation fees and sponsorships, organizers said.