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Mario Batali, Jon Stewart, Al Roker & Sarah McLachlan Come Together for Hunger-Relief at Food Bank For New York City's Star-Studded Annual Can-Do Awards Dinner


Ebro North America, BronxWorks Honored for Commitment to Ending Hunger
Lucy Cabrera, Ph.D., Pres. & Ceo of  Food Bank For New York City, To Receive Lifetime Achievement Award

New York, NY, March 22, 2011— Mario Batali, Jon Stewart, Al Roker and Sarah McLachlan will be joined by an expected 800 guests at the Food Bank For New York City star-studded Ninth Annual Can-Do Awards Dinner to end hunger, on Thursday, April 7th, at Abigail Kirsch’s Pier Sixty at Chelsea Piers on the Hudson River.  The Food Bank is the city’s major hunger-relief organization working to end food poverty throughout the five boroughs.  Ebro North America President & CEO, Peter F. Smith, and BronxWorks Executive Director Carolyn McLaughlin, will be honored for their commitment to hunger-relief.  Lucy Cabrera, Ph.D., President and CEO of the Food Bank, will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award for 23 years of service to the organization.  Co-chairing the dinner is Chef/Author Mario Batali and his wife Susan Cahn.  Jon Stewart, one of America’s top social and comedic figures, is Can-Do's Special Guest. TODAY Show Co-Host and America's best loved weatherman, Al Roker, will host. Multi-platinum, Grammy-Award winning singer/songwriter Sarah McLachlan, will provide an intimate musical performance.

The evening will include cocktails followed by dinner, awards presentations, and a live auction of extraordinary offerings.  Individual tickets to Can-Do are $650 and tables start at $12,000. To reserve tickets, contact the Food Bank’s Benefit Office: 212.249.6188 or benefitoffice@foodbanknyc.org.

The Can-Do Awards Dinner is instrumental in helping to provide support for the 1.5 million New York City residents who relies on the Food Bank's programs and services. Every dollar donated to the Food Bank helps provide five meals. This is a critically important year for the Can-Do Awards Gala as unemployment remains high and food costs are soaring. New York City residents are being forced to make impossible sacrifices including reducing their food intake and the quality of their food to get by financially.

"Our 2011 Can-Do Award honorees have demonstrated an uncompromising commitment to ending hunger.  The Food Bank applauds their efforts and thanks them on behalf of all New Yorkers who are struggling to put food on the table," said Lucy Cabrera, Ph.D., President and CEO of the Food Bank For New York City.  "Today, almost one in five New York City residents lives below the federal poverty line — many of whom will turn to us in the months to come.  They don't give up and neither can we. With your continued support,  all New Yorkers can have a future in which hunger is a thing of the past."

“Ebro North America is honored to partner with the Food Bank for New York City," said Peter F. Smith, President and CEO of Ebro North America.  "Ronzoni pasta and Carolina rice have helped nourish New Yorkers for over ninety years. The Can-Do Awards event allows us all to celebrate our significant accomplishments of the past year. Ebro North America looks forward to a continued partnership with the Food Bank to ensure that every New Yorker has sustained access to one of life’s most basic necessities: affordable food.”

“BronxWorks is honored to be a Can Do Award recipient.  Our partnerships with the Food Bank have enabled us to keep the safety net strong in these difficult times," said Carolyn McLaughlin, BronxWorks Executive Director.

A special Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented to Dr. Lucy Cabrera, who will retire effective May 31, 2011.  Dr. Cabrera has led the Food Bank for more than two decades.  Under her leadership, the Food Bank’s mission has expanded beyond food distribution to ongoing support and resources that enable approximately 1,000 community-based member programs to build capacity and connect low-income New Yorkers with much-needed benefits and services.

“Under her guidance, the Food Bank has become the city’s only hub for integrated food poverty assistance, tackling the hunger issue on three fronts – food distribution, income support and nutrition education," said Rev. Henry Belin, Chairman of the Food Bank Board of Directors. "The board and the entire Food Bank staff appreciate the passion Dr. Cabrera has brought to the organization over the years, and her many meaningful contributions.”

“I look back on my career at the Food Bank with great pride,” said Dr. Cabrera. “Our organization has grown from a small provider to one of the country’s largest and most prestigious food banks, serving 1.5 million New Yorkers today.  I leave behind an organization that is in a strong financial position, has a stellar reputation, and has an independent research wing.  I’m confident that the strength of our member network, a highly committed board of directors, and a skilled and dedicated executive team will take the Food Bank to the next level."

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 approximately 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 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 foodbanknyc.org.

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