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Food Bank For New York City Raises Record-Setting $2 Million for Hunger Relief at Star-Studded 30th Anniversary Can Do Awards Dinner

3 Decades

Media Contacts:
Carol Schneider/212-566-7855, ext. 2231/
Lana Gersten/212-784-5714/



New York, NY, May 1, 2013 Food Bank For New York City — the city’s major hunger-relief organization working to end food poverty throughout the five boroughs — raised a record-setting $2 million, with donations still coming in, to celebrate the organization’s 30 years of service at the Can Do Awards Dinner, presented by Bank of America on April 30th at Cipriani Wall Street.  Mario Batali and Susan Cahn, Diane Sawyer & The ABC News Hidden America Team, Food Bank For New York City founder Kathy Goldman, Delta Air Lines and Mission Partner Target were honored for their commitment to eradicating poverty and hunger.  Jodisue and Scott R. Feldman served as Can Do Dinner Co-Chairs, and Emmy and Golden Globe Award winner and Tony nominee Tony Shalhoub emceed the event.

More than 650 people came out to support Food Bank For New York City in the fight against hunger, including award-winning musician, singer, songwriter and philanthropist, Jon Bon Jovi, who was the evening’s special musical guest. Jon was honored at the Can Do Awards Dinner in 2009 for his commitment to bringing heightened awareness and aid to the issues that adversely impact humanity. Presenters included Chelsea Clinton, Selita Ebanks, Stephanie March, Lauren Bush Lauren and  Reverend Henry Belin, along with notable attendees such as Mariska Hargitay, Michael Stipe, Rachael Ray, Justin and Lauran Tuck, Josh Charles, Lee Schraeger, Kevin and Erika Liles, Mike Mills, Sandra Lee, David Burke, Anne Burrell, Jill Hennessy, Geoffrey Zakarian, Tom Colicchio and Gail Simmons, amongst others.

“Tonight is a celebration of our commitment over the past 30 years to fighting hunger in the City,” said Margarette Purvis, President and CEO of Food Bank For New York City. “With proposed cuts to food stamps looming, it is crucial now more than ever to raise the money we need to continue our fight. We’re honored to have the support of our extraordinary celebrity partners and honorees as we strive to provide New Yorkers in need with access to food.”

The evening’s auction, led by auctioneer Brian McCormak of Christie's Auction House, featured celebrity-donated and exclusive items. The Return of the Three Castrati – a once-in-a-lifetime, sit-down dinner for 16 people catered by legendary chefs Mario Batali, David Chang, and Tom Colicchio – went to an evening-high bid of $150,000. Other auction items included a wine country getaway in Napa Valley, luxury seats at Yankee Stadium, first class tickets for two to the Aspen Food & Wine Classic, and much more.

Can Do Honorees Mario Batali and Susan Cahn were recognized for their active support of Food Bank For New York City for over two decades of tireless work to end hunger in New York City while raising millions of dollars for the organization. A Board Member since 2003, Mario Batali is founder and chair of Food Bank’s Culinary Council which brings together prestigious leaders in the culinary industry.  In 2011, Batali and Food Bank launched Community CookShop, bringing nutrition education to families in need throughout New York City. 

Diane Sawyer and the ABC News Hidden America Team were honored for shedding light on difficult and previously under-reported topics including the realities of extreme poverty in America. Sawyer, a long-time supporter of Food Bank, has won multiple awards for her reporting on issues of hunger and devastation across the nation.

Can Do Honoree Kathy Goldman was acknowledged as an innovator and a determined advocate for hunger-relief, who has helped initiate groundbreaking food programs in New York City for more than forty-five years. In 1983, she joined forces with other community leaders to respond to the growing need for emergency food, and founded what has now become Food Bank For New York City.

The official airline of Food Bank For New York City, Delta Air Lines was named Can Do Corporate Honoree for the financial support, travel and volunteers it has provided to sustain Food Bank’s mission since 2007.  

Target, Can Do Mission Partner Awardee, was recognized for providing food, funds and talent to Food Bank For New York City since 2004. With Food Bank, Target continues its legacy of community service by recognizing innovative ways to directly impact those who need it the most. 

The Can Do Awards Dinner is instrumental in helping to provide support for the 1.5 million New Yorkers who rely on Food Bank programs and services to eat, including one in five children. And the news on the horizon presents further challenges. On November 1, 2013, sweeping Congressional cuts to food stamps (now know as SNAP) will take effect resulting in the loss of approximately 60 million meals for New Yorkers in need. Every dollar donated to Food Bank For New York City helps provide five meals.

About Food Bank For New York City
Food Bank For New York City recognizes 30 years as the city’s major hunger-relief organization working to end food poverty throughout the five boroughs.  As the city’s hub for integrated food poverty assistance, Food Bank tackles the hunger issue on three fronts — food distribution, income support and nutrition education — all strategically guided by its research. Through its network of  community-based member programs citywide, Food Bank helps provide 400,000 free meals a day for New Yorkers in need. Food Bank’s hands-on nutrition education program in the public schools reaches thousands of children, teens and adults. Income support services including food stamps, free tax assistance for the working poor and the Earned Income Tax Credit put millions of dollars back in the pockets of low-income New Yorkers, helping them to achieve greater dignity and independence. 94% of donations go directly toward food distribution, acquisition and programs in all five boroughs of New York City.  Learn how you can help at

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