Practical Magic at City Harvest

April 17, 2013 9:54 PM

Last night, City Harvest hosted their annual gala honoring Chef Marc Murphy, "An Evening of Practical Magic". The dinner was accompained by an auction to raise money for the company’s newest initiative, the 30-30-30 campaign. The remarkable organization proudly improves lives by supplying millions of pounds of food to hungry New Yorkers annually, in addition to launching programs to promote Healthy Neighborhoods and nutrition classes for low-income families in all five boroughs.

Chef Ted Allen, Marc Murphy, and Eric Rupert spoke about the deep impact City Harvest has made on the restaurant world, not only by rescuing fresh food and produce for distribution, but also for the importance of allowing chefs to feed the people in their city. When Andrew Cuomo was running for governor, Marc Murphy endorsed his campaign to ensure that New York restaurants would have an ally in politics. The mission to serve the community is not just confined to their restaurants; many of the speakers spoke of their passion for solving the critical issue of hunger.  

City Harvest has been able to expand their food distribution throughout New York City with generous gifts from individual and corporate donors. With 18 trucks and 3 cargo bikes, the transportation system is vital to their mission. Driver Eddie Ayala shared his experiences with the organization at the dinner and how grateful the recipients of his harvest really are:

“There is a great need for fresh fruit and vegetables in New York City. There are more liquor stores and bodegas in most low-income areas than grocery stores…. City Harvest is literally one of the best things that could have happened to the neighborhoods I deliver to.”

The 30-30-30 campaign aims to deliver 30 million more pounds of food than it already does (doubling production) by obtaining a new food rescue facility, in its 30th year, to promote consumption of nutritious food in even more needy neighborhoods with a budget of $30 million. City Harvest hosts cooking classes often, to teach parents how nutritious eating is possible, regardless of budget by providing recipes that appeal to children and adults. The classes are heavily attended and are an effective hands-on staple in the organization’s mission.  

The gala was a success; the five-hour long event raised $2 million between the live and silent auction, greatly surpassing Executive Director Jilly Stephens’ expectations.

To find out how to volunteer in your area, please visit: www.cityharvest.org. As Eddie Ayala says, “Let’s go feed New York!”

 

Photographs and Article by Sarah Granetz 

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