Michelle Hibler Jenkins has an infectious smile and a spunky personality. People can't help but feel drawn to Michelle with her big heart and open arms.

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A resident of the West Side of Binghamton, Michelle's family roots run deep in our community. Her family owns Al's Garage and Hibler's Towing and formally owned the Binghamton favorite, Sharkey's, which was famous for their halupki, spiedies, and city chicken.

Michelle has been a dispatcher for Broome County for 13 years and when she saw that Favorite Chef was hosting a contest for chefs of all skill levels from around the world where the winner would receive $50,000 and a two-page spread in the prestigious Bon Appétit magazine, Michelle knew that her love of community and her cooking experience set her up perfectly for the contest.

Michelle decided to give the contest a try, not for fame and fortune, but because she wants to give all of her winnings to the Broome County Communications 911 Center so that her hardworking co-workers will finally have a real kitchen and breakroom, something they deserve for all that they pour into our community and the endless hours that they work.

The Broome County Communications 911 Center's kitchen is about as big as the one you'd find in a college dorm with small appliances which make preparing and eating healthy food so hard. Michelle told me, "My love language to my coworkers is food, I cook for them and it brings me joy.  We have such a stressful job and my co-workers are the invisible heroes. They deserve good things and my goal is to provide food that is healthy instead of going out every day."

Michelle said that if she wins, all of the money, every penny of it, will be donated to the Broome County Communications 911 Center to outfit the kitchenette and breakroom.

The recipe that Michelle submitted into the contest is a bit of the family's halupki recipe and a bit of a halupki recipe taught to her by a sweet Polish lady. "HalupkI was at every family celebration. My dad's sister Marie married Robert Sharak and they owned Sharkey's. The halupki was epic and always served at family dinners. I also grew up next to a lovely little old lady named Tilly. She was Polish and a member of the Polish community center and my recipe is a bit of the old Sharkey's recipe and part of Tilly's."

Voting for Michelle to win $50,000 (again, all of which she will donate to the Broome County Communications 911 Center) continues and if you would like to help Michelle as well as the men and women who are always there when we need them the very most, you can vote here

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