June 13, 2017 (New York, NY) –The annual WhyHunger Chapin Awards took place at the Edison Ballroom and honored musician and Late Show with Stephen Colbert bandleader Jon Batiste with the ASCAP Harry Chapin Humanitarian Award, and grassroots partner Bed-Stuy Campaign Against Hunger with the WhyHunger Chapin Award. Presenters included Questlove, GRAMMY Award winning musician, Culinary Entrepreneur and Musical Director for The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, and Barbara Turk, Director of Food Policy, Office of the Mayor, New York City.
Hosted by Pete Dominick, comedian and host of SiriusXM’s Stand Up with Pete Dominick, the event was a celebration of music, food and grassroots power that honored philanthropic and food justice leaders who are making a difference in the fight against hunger and poverty.
Bed-Stuy Campaign Against Hunger is one of the largest food access organizations in New York City that provides nutritious food with dignity for their clients while combatting the root causes of hunger. Through their flagship location, mobile pantry and two urban farms, they distributed nutritious food to provide approximately 3 million meals to New Yorkers last year. Their innovative programs include Green Teens; where each summer, youth aged 14-24 participate in a training program to learn farming and leadership skills.
“We believe that supporting local, grassroots solutions that come directly from impacted communities is essential to ending hunger and poverty,” said Noreen Springstead, WhyHunger Executive Director. “I am thrilled to be able to not only honor Bed-Stuy Campaign Against Hunger, but humanitarian and fellow activist Jon Batiste who uses his musical talent and platform to educate and fight for social justice.”
Jon Batiste, is a musician, educator and humanitarian from Kenner, LA who has created a signature sound that is true to his roots and is strongly committed to the education
and mentoring of young musicians. In addition to performing internationally with his band, Jon Batiste & Stay Human, and as the music director and bandleader for The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Batiste is the Artistic Director at Large of the National Jazz Museum in Harlem. He is on the Board of Directors for the non-profit Sing For Hope, that brings the arts to New Yorkers of all socioeconomic backgrounds.
"I'm honored to accept the ASCAP Harry Chapin Humanitarian Award from WhyHunger that recognizes my commitment as an artist activist,” says Jon Batiste. “I believe music has the power to change the world and I will continue to use my platform to inspire, educate and work to build social justice."
This year marked the 18th WhyHunger Chapin Awards, celebrating the continued work in supporting innovative grassroots solutions for long-term change.
Special thanks to event sponsors ASCAP, Hard Rock International, Collection 18, Nanette & Eugene Johns and Heidi & Bob Wolk.
Founded in 1975 by the late Harry Chapin and DJ Bill Ayres, WhyHunger is a leader in building the movement to end hunger and poverty by connecting people to nutritious, affordable food and by supporting grassroots solutions that inspire self-reliance and community empowerment. WhyHunger works to support, resource and build the capacity of community organizations and social movements that are changing the systems, policies and institutions that perpetuate hunger and poverty in our world. Together we are transforming our collective food system into one that is socially and economically just, nourishes whole communities, cools the planet and ensures the rights of all people to food, land, water and sustainable livelihoods. Learn more at whyhunger.org.