Join the TONY Challenge

Help us raise $25,000 for the Food Bank for New York City. Here are five reasons to donate from foodie (and fibber) Ted Allen.

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TONY is throwing down the gauntlet: We’re asking readers to help us raise $25,000 for the Food Bank for New York City. Through April 28, toss in a dollar—or skip that last cocktail tonight and make it ten bucks. Can’t think of a good incentive to fork over your money? We enlisted one of New York’s smartest gourmands, longtime Food Bank supporter Ted Allen, to help convince you. “Something like one in five New Yorkers relies on the Food Bank for food. One in five,” says Allen. Here are his other (mostly true) reasons:

1 The Food Bank is more vital than ever.
Following the economy’s recent dive, the number of locals needing the Food Bank’s support went way up. “Suddenly, the lines are filled with new people who never thought of themselves as impoverished,” says Allen. Need has increased at more than 90 percent of the organization’s 1,000 pantries and soup kitchens.

2 Your dollar is pretty much worthless otherwise.
“A dollar will produce five meals for hungry New Yorkers,” says Allen. “So your dollar goes a lot further than when you’re lined up at Shake Shack.” It’s true: You’d only get 21 percent of a ShackBurger for a buck—and that line is way too long, anyway. If TONY’s goal is met, we can provide 125,000 meals to those in need.

3 All the cool kids are doing it.
Marquee members of the New York culinary community, including Allen, Mario Batali and Anthony Bourdain, flock to Food Bank fund-raising events. “It just feels so perfect,” Allen says. “We need to give something to those who aren’t so ridiculously privileged and can’t eat this way.”

4 Going hungry is pass.
“Emaciation is so last century. We’re really more about being enormously fat today,” Allen says. It’ll take a lot of Food Bank eats for recipients to achieve Allen levels of overeating, since their food is “wholesome and nutritionally useful.” So donate twice.

5 Ted Allen needs more money.
“Dude, I eat dinner at Per Se daily. Daily,” jokes Allen. “I have a brass plaque next to my booth, and Thomas Keller spoon-feeds me each day with the money that I steal from this organization.” Pitch in not to feed New Yorkers, but one very unscrupulous New Yorker.

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