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The Mario Batali Foundation and the Food Bank For New York City Launch Community CookShop, a Health and Nutrition Education Program for Families



Media Contacts:

Lana Gersten, 212 784 5714,  

Zigis Switzer, 212-784-5705,


The Mario Batali Foundation and the Food Bank For New York City Launch Community CookShop, a Health and Nutrition Education Program for Families


Community CookShop Engages Families in Hands-on Health and Nutrition Education Lessons in Food Pantries and Soup Kitchens throughout New York City

July 9, 2012 (NEW YORK) – The Food Bank For New York City, the city’s major hunger-relief organization working to end food poverty throughout the five boroughs, today launched Community CookShop, a joint venture with the Mario Batali Foundation, bringing hands-on family oriented health and nutrition education classes to food pantries and soup kitchens. Beginning today and running through August 17th, Community CookShop will be held in 12 sites throughout the five boroughs. The program is fully funded by the Mario Batali Foundation.

“Community CookShop will integrate the best elements of the CookShop program and deliver them directly to the families that already depend on many of the services within our emergency food network,” said Margarette Purvis, President and CEO of the Food Bank For New York City. “We are grateful to Mario Batali and the Mario Batali Foundation for funding this tremendous opportunity.  CookShop has been a resounding success in engaging children, teens, and adults to develop nutrition knowledge and cooking skills to make healthy choices on a limited budget, and we are excited to extend these tools and resources to the families that will benefit the most.”

Community CookShop will be run by on-site leaders that will engage families in six workshops throughout the summer. Each workshop is designed as a standalone lesson and will be focused on developing a set of skills including budgeting exercises, tips for maintaining a healthy lifestyle, child focused activities, and learning to cook simple and affordable recipes that involve the whole family. Participants are expected to attend three out of the six workshops and are encouraged to report back on how they have incorporated the lessons in their home. Additionally, all recipes were created by Mario Batali specifically for this program. 

“We really wanted to create a component to CookShop where we could reach the whole family and extend the program out of the classroom and into the emergency food network,” said Darcie Purcell, Director of the Mario Batali Foundation. “We worked closely with the Food Bank in developing curriculum and Mario created recipes that were not only nutritious and healthy, but were also affordable on a very limited budget. Many of the recipes also have healthy substitute ingredients to encourage cooking with seasonal and fresh ingredients, when available. Community CookShop will provide families with a new set of skills and the confidence that a home cooked meal is a real possibility.”

 Building on the success of CookShop, the Food Bank’s signature nutrition education in New York City public schools, the Food Bank will also be launching CookShop Classroom for After-School that will reach students ages 6 to 12 in an after school setting. CookShop Classroom for After-School will be a partnership with the Department of Youth and Community Development, The After School Corporation, and the Department of Parks and Recreation as well as participating schools.  Approximately 45 sites with 2 to 3 classes at each site will educate over 1,500 children with lessons in health and nutrition education.

Those interested in participating or learning more about Community CookShop, CookShop Classroom for After-School, and other programs offered by The Food Bank For New York City are encouraged to visit


About the Food Bank For New York City                                                                    .
Food Bank For New York City recognizes 28 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, the 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  1,000 community-based member programs citywide, the Food Bank helps provide 400,000 free meals a day for New Yorkers in need. The Food Bank’s hands-on nutrition education program in the public schools reaches 35,000 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. Ninety-four percent of donations go directly toward programs in all five boroughs.  Learn how you can help at


About the Mario Batali Foundation

The Mario Batali Foundation was established to feed, protect, educate and empower children, encouraging them to dream big while providing them with the necessary tools to become an active force for change in today's world. In an effort to do so, the MBF strives to ensure all children are well read, well fed and well cared for. To learn more about the Mario Batali Foundation, visit

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