Food for thought

By Dave Sherry

March 6, 2013 Updated Mar 7, 2013 at 10:44 AM EDT

Ithaca, NY (WBNG Binghamton) The Food Bank of the Southern Tier hosted New York Times columnist and author Mark Bittman Wednesday at the Kitchen Theatre in Ithaca.

He took time to discuss his career as a writer, as well as the broader impacts of food in people's lives.

"He also talks about the economics of food, the politics of food, the health impacts of different foods that we eat," said Natasha Thompson, president and CEO for the Food Bank of the Southern Tier, "so he's a pretty well-rounded individual in kind of the food realm and it's exciting for us because the Food Bank, obviously, the core of what we do is we're trying to bring food out into high need communities to people who need it.

"But we're also thinking more and more about what our role is in the whole community food security space and how does the Food Bank kind of fit in to the efforts to try to improve public health."

Bittman has also published an article on the importance of food banking, and took this opportunity to help raise money for a deserving cause.

Thompson was extremely grateful for the author's help.

"This is just another example of the support that is so critical," she said. "The support from the community that is so critical to the work that we do. Last year the Food Bank distributed 7.6 million pounds of food to six counties in the Southern Tier through our network of about 165 community-based organizations."

The event sold out within four days of tickets going on sale. The Food Bank of the Southern Tier anticipates the event will raise approximately $3,000 for the organization from ticket revenue and extra donations.