How the Stars Give Back

Food Network and Cooking Channel stars tell us about their favorite causes.

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Bobby Flay, Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation

"I’ve been a fan of horse racing ever since I was a kid, so it’s important to me that these animals are taken care of their entire lives. This group places retired horses at prisons to teach inmates skills through caring for the animals." trfinc.org

Guy Fieri, Cooking with Kids

"In 2010, I founded this organization to teach kids to cook and to instill self-esteem, self-reliance and a healthy lifestyle. This year, we partnered with Best Buddies to teach people with intellectual and developmental disabilities about cooking." cwkfoundation.org

Ted Allen, Dining Out for Life

"This Philadelphia-based charity bridges my love of restaurants with support for the LGBT community and the fight against HIV and AIDS. In a single evening, it raises more than $4 million!" diningoutforlife.com

Valerie Bertinelli, Blessings in a Backpack

"Most hungry kids can get breakfast and lunch through their schools, but what do they do on weekends? This organization sends kids home with backpacks filled with food for their families to eat at home." blessingsinabackpack.org

Marcus Samuelsson, Careers Through Culinary Arts Program

"This program gives disadvantaged youth the skills they need to land a job in the food industry. I’m proud to be the co-chair — and to have donated my winnings from Chopped All-Stars." ccapinc.org

Robert Irvine, USO and Robert Irvine Foundation

"Veterans and their families make incredible sacrifices to keep us safe. It’s why I go on USO tours and why I started the Robert Irvine Foundation." uso.org and robertirvinefoundation.org

Maneet Chauhan, March of Dimes

"When my son, Karma, was born at 26 weeks weighing 2 1/2 pounds, I got to see firsthand the work that March of Dimes does for those in need." marchofdimes.org

Amanda Freitag, God’s Love We Deliver

"I have spent a lot of time with this organization, which delivers meals to the sick and homebound. It always touches my heart how GLWD heals people through food." glwd.org

Jonathan Bennett, One Heartland

"I’ve raised money and helped at events for this Minnesota camp for kids who deal with social isolation, bullying or serious health challenges. They get to perform skits, paint, explore the wilderness, write poetry and dance up a storm." oneheartland.org

Curtis Stone, National Young Farmers Coalition

"Only 6 percent of farmers in the U.S. are younger than 35, which will greatly affect our future food supply. So in 2016, I held guest-chef dinners at my restaurant Maude to raise awareness and funds for NYFC." youngfarmers.org

Tregaye Fraser, Playing the Game Tour

"A few years ago, I started this foundation, which gets kids excited about healthy food. Local chefs and I create new and exciting lunch menus for schools, then we talk with the students and encourage them to try healthy food." cheftregayes.com

Nancy Fuller, Community Hospice of Columbia County

"Our local hospice in upstate New York is very dear to my heart. When my dad passed, they gave my family such a significant support system. I was asked to orchestrate a dinner to benefit the hospice 25 years ago, and I think we made $2,500 in ticket sales. Today, we take in well over $100,000!"communityhospice.org

Anne Burrell, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation

"Whenever I enter a cooking competition with a charity cause, I support JDRF. My nephew has Type 1 diabetes, and this foundation leads the world in research." jdrf.org

Jeff Mauro, Camp Kids Are Kids

"This year, my restaurant, Pork & Mindy’s, provided the food for this weeklong camp held in Chicago for children living with cancer." campkidsarekids.org

Sunny Anderson, DonorsChoose.org

"I love this organization. It links you with teachers trying to pay for school supplies or activities, and you can opt to get letters or pictures from the class." donorschoose.org

Duff Goldman, No Kid Hungry

"This group provides school breakfast to needy kids. In July, I joined Chefs Cycle for NKH, where more than 100 chefs pedaled 300 miles, and we raised over $1 million!" nokidhungry.org

Alex Guarnaschelli, Alex’s Lemonade Stand

"I hear a lot of incredible stories from Chopped contestants about giving back, but learning about the brave little girl behind this pediatric cancer charity really touched my heart." alexslemonade.org

Melissa d'Arabian, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

"I lost my mom to suicide when I was in college, so I support this organization. Their Out of the Darkness walks are an incredibly moving way to get involved in suicide prevention." afsp.org

Patricia Heaton, World Vision

"I recently became the first celebrity ambassador for this humanitarian organization, which has saved and changed millions of lives through child sponsorship and other wonderful programs." worldvision.org

Richard Blais, Save the Children

"I ran the New York City Marathon to raise money for this group. I’m always looking for ways to make kids’ lives more nourishing." savethechildren.org

Geoffrey Zakarian, City Harvest

"I helm the Food Council for this New York City food charity, a group of industry pros who try to give away as much food as possible every day."cityharvest.org

Andrew Zimmern, Babson College Food Day

"My family funds several hunger relief organizations. We also participate in events like this fantastic food-entrepreneurship festival." babson.edu

Michael Symon, Autism Speaks

"Autism has affected people I love, so I do a lot with this group, including hosting their biennial Chef Gala. This year, Bobby Flay hosted with me and we raised almost $300,000." autismspeaks.org

Aarón Sánchez, Chefs Move!

"I want to help the next generation of Latino chefs, so I support John Besh’s Chefs Move! scholarship program. It gives minority applicants from New Orleans the chance to attend culinary school so they can come home and become leaders in restaurant kitchens." johnbeshfoundation.org

Marcela Valladolid, Miracle Babies Foundation

"I’m a huge supporter of this foundation, which helps families with babies in neonatal intensive care units. The founder recently launched Miracle Babies Mexico and has raised money for a new NICU at Tijuana General Hospital, in my hometown." miraclebabies.org

Daphne Oz, HealthCorps

“I co-chair the Junior Board of HealthCorps, my family’s organization to help underserved kids. I’m especially excited about our new Transcendental Meditation curriculum — the effect of meditation on kids is mind-blowing!" healthcorps.org

Damaris Phillips, Star Duck Charities

"This organization works with St. Joe’s Orphanage in Louisville, Kentucky. At Christmas, I get names from the 'angel tree' so I can buy gifts for kiddos who may not have presents that year." starduckcharities.org

Carla Hall, Pajama Program

"This group donates new pajamas and books to kids in need. It’s extraordinary to be part of a program with such a simple yet important mission: Give children a sense of stability in one part of their day — bedtime." pajamaprogram.org

Eddie Jackson, Langham Creek Family YMCA

"I want to eliminate child obesity, so I mentor kids on the importance of fitness and healthy eating at the Langham Creek Family YMCA in Houston, my hometown." ymcahouston.org

Lorraine Pascale, The Adolescent & Children’s Trust

"People know about adoption but not as much about fostering and the many advantages it can bring to children and caregivers. I was a foster child, so this means the world to me." tactcare.org.uk

Kelsey Nixon, March of Dimes

"I’ve had two premature babies with very different outcomes: My first son, Oliver, was born at 28 weeks and has gone on to be strong and healthy, whereas my second son, Leo, was born at 25 weeks and passed away due to complications. My family has directly benefited from March of Dimes research, which is why this holiday we’re making care kits for families who have babies in neonatal intensive care." marchofdimes.org   

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