Association to Benefit Children: NYC Food Based Community Organization Spotlight

by nycadmin
ABC picture

An “Iron Chef” class at ABC where parents created meals utilizing the contents of farm fresh produce without knowing what the ingredients would be.

We caught up with Leslie Anagnostakis, Health Justice Coordinator at Association to Benefit Children, who told us about the work of her organization and exciting upcoming projects.

The Association to Benefit Children (ABC) was created to amplify the voices of defenseless children by combating the debilitating effects of poverty and championing the right of every child to a joyful and nurturing childhood. ABC creates model programs that are replicable, compassionate, comprehensive, cost-effective and sustainable. Through them and through widespread advocacy efforts to enact far-reaching and lasting solutions, ABC has brought relief, tenderness, joy and hope to thousands of disadvantaged children each year.

Tell us about your food-related work and services.

Let’s Eat! is a healthy eating class for parents of ABC families, meets every Wednesday from 4-5:30pm at 1841 Park Avenue in East Harlem. The class includes cooking, nutrition education, and health advocacy. The goal of the program is to increase healthy living behaviors by utilizing resources and advocating for increased access to better overall health in the community. Through the experiences in our class, we are creating an ABC Family cookbook to distribute to our families.

Tell us about a recent success you’ve had with your food-related work.

Since our Let’s Eat! class began on October 7th, ABC has distributed 20 bags of farm fresh produce from Uptown Grand Central to our families using health bucks. Our most exciting recent success was our “Iron Chef” class where parents created yummy, healthy meals from the contents of farm fresh bags without knowing ahead of time what the contents would be (see photo!).

Tell us about a recent challenge you have encountered in your food-related work.

As in organization, our biggest challenge is funding.

Any exciting new events or projects?

We will be starting our first ABC youth food justice program in the winter.

Fact Sheet:

Core programs:

  • Education Programs
  • Preventative and Mental Health Services
  • Youth Services
  • Housing and Family Support
    • Family Preservation and Support Services
    • The Open Door
    • ABC’s Supportive Housing Program

Main Office Address: 419 East 86th Street, New York, NY 10028


How Many Full-Time Staff: 200

How Many Volunteers: 1600 volunteers

Areas you serve: Manhattan and South Bronx

Founding Date: 1986

Founded by: Gretchen Buchenholz

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