Food Bank For New York City, the city’s leading hunger-relief organization working to end food poverty throughout the five boroughs, celebrated vital community members and friends at its annual Can Do Awards Dinner last night, raising more than 9 million meals in the fight against hunger.

Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka at 2019 Can Do Awards Dinner
Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka at 2019 Can Do Awards Dinner

The evening honored Chef José Andrés; David Burtka & Neil Patrick Harris; Hildy Simmons; and Stop & Shop for their commitment to hunger relief in New York City. The star-studded annual gala is instrumental in raising funds and awareness to provide support for the 1.4 million New Yorkers who rely on Food Bank For New York City’s programs and services.

Sponsored by Bank of America and chaired by Lee Brian Schrager and Jodisue Rosen & Scott R. Feldman, the event featured a live auction conducted by Christie’s Lydia Fenet, as well as a performance by Motown sensations The Four Tops who delighted the crowd to classics, including “Baby I Need Your Loving,” “It’s the Same Old Song,” and “I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch).”

Other notable guests included Katie Lee, Luann de Lesseps, Alex Guarnaschelli, Marc Murphy, Cassandra Freeman, Adam Richman, Thom Filicia, Ellie Krieger, Jessica Keenan Wynn, Lili Mirojnick, Jill Hennessy, Jonathan Tucker, and Ariel Fox.

The evening celebrated the many ways that New Yorkers have driven and continue to propel and support Food Bank’s goal of ending hunger, and each awardee was honored for creating lasting, positive change in New York City and across the globe. “Food Bank’s mission rests on decades of personal legacies of good will New Yorkers chose to establish with this organization,” said Margarette Purvis, President and CEO of Food Bank For New York City.

“When people decide to leave their normal lives and just try to change the life of a fellow citizen of the world, those are the people who truly deserve an award,” said José Andrés.

“This organization does such important work, changing the lives of so many New Yorkers, and I’ve loved spending time supporting them and sharing that sense of giving with our kids,” said David Burtka. “Food Bank has helped them develop a sense of pride and appreciation for the value of volunteering, which, as parents, is wonderful to witness.” Neil Patrick Harris added, “I really do think it’s important to represent yourself well to your children, to show them examples and opportunities and possibilities of how to be better.”

Since its inception, the Can Do Awards has raised the funds to help Food Bank provide 105 million free meals for New Yorkers in need. Every dollar donated to Food Bank provides five meals for NYC residents experiencing food insecurity.

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