Dana Cowin is the editor in chief of Food and Wine magazine. Previously, Ms. Cowin served as the executive editor of Mademoiselle, the managing editor of HG Magazine, and associate editor of Vogue. A recent guest judge on Top Chef, she is a member of the board of directors of City Harvest. Cowin received her B.A. from Brown University in 1982, and resides in Manhattan with husband Barclay Palmer, who is a producer at CNN
Topic: Turning Food Into Charity
Dana Cowin: Well. I have a well privileged position being able to eat out any day any night and eating the food from the test kitchen all the time. So I really feel its important to not be so self involved in things that are --- what about everybody else and there are lot of people in New York city who go hungry, who confront either paying the rent or paying for food and this is people who are working people and City Harvest which is a hunger relief organization in New York solves that problem by generally picking up food from places that have too much and delivering it to soup kitchens and places that will turn it into meals for those who are hungry and I want to find out a way to help City Harvest. I am on their board. And I am not a big fan of galas. So I wasn’t going to buy 10 tables which would certainly help City Harvest, but I wanted to think of a way, a grassroots way, to help hungry New Yorkers and the idea became skip lunch fight hunger. So for one day we asked New Yorkers to donate the amount of money that they would have spent on lunch to City Harvest. So that’s great because some people would have spent 10 dollars on lunch, which is the idea like really $10 will make a difference. $10 could help feed two kids for a month. It’s extraordinary, but that’s because the efficiency of City Harvest that they pick up with the exists and they bring into a place that will turn into meals, but right, um, $10 can make that much of difference and lets say use about $100 on lunch. That would be amazing in terms of helping feed these kids and we do it in May which is just before kids get out of school. So we are trying to bridge that summer food gap because kids often will have subsidized lunch, which as you can read in the paper sometimes they don’t want to take subsidized lunch. There is a little tainted, but --- so helping kids get through the summer and so there is a big emphasis on helping feed these kids. So the way it's organized is we look for team captains and the team captain could be a team of five. There is one person who is willing to go out and ask their colleagues to give them money, to give to City Harvest to help feed hungry kids and hungry people in New York City.
Recorded on: 3/7/08