Cortlandt Manor, NY - (October 14, 2013)– A new Teaching and Demonstration Kitchen slated to open at Hudson Valley Hospital Center has already received a $20,000 grant to support a program that will teach young children about healthy eating in the battle against childhood obesity.

The Young Chefs of the Hudson Valley, which will work with area school districts, will receive the funding from Newman’s Own Foundation, the independent foundation created by the late actor and philanthropist, Paul Newman.

The program will enroll 60 at-risk children ages 11-13 in weekly healthy cooking classes administered by trained chefs and dietitians currently on staff at HVHC. The program aims to improve the health of children and reduce the risks of obesity. It is one of several community classes that will be taught in the kitchen. 

“We know what a large role nutrition plays in our overall health,’’ said Hudson Valley Hospital President John C. Federspiel. “Hudson Valley Hospital Center has developed its Harvest for Health program to help educate our patients and the community on the value of healthy eating in preventing chronic conditions such as obesity, diabetes and heart disease. We are grateful to Newman’s Own Foundation for its support of our Young Chefs of the Hudson Valley program which will provide a healthy nutritional foundation for our local youngsters.’’

The grant received by Hudson Valley Hospital Center is part of the Foundation’s two-year, $7 million commitment to innovative programs that are helping to advance nutrition awareness, education, and fresh food access.

“There is great momentum right now in addressing the many challenging issues around nutrition,” said Lisa Walker, Managing Director of Newman’s Own Foundation. “We are pleased to award a grant to Hudson Valley Hospital Center to support their important contributions in this area.”

The Teaching and Demonstration Kitchen is part of the Hospital’s Harvest for Health program, a multi-faceted program featuring an organic garden, Farmers’ Market and new Hospital food service that uses locally grown produce. The kitchen was recently named in honor of “Iron Chef” winner, Chef Peter X. Kelly, who has been integral in the development of the kitchen. The kitchen is still under construction and is expected to be dedicated before year’s end.

For more information about Harvest for Health and the Teaching and Demonstration Kitchen visit





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I remember the first time I planted something with my daughter who was then 3. I wanted to share my love for gardening. It brought me back to the thrill I experienced in Kindergarten as we waited eagerly for some life to poke its head out of the little dixie cup planters that sat on our classroom window sill.  So my daughter and I planted nasturtiums because they have large seeds and sprout relatively quickly. Each day we would walk out to the garden to water and eagerly await the arrival of our nasturtiums. When they finally popped up, my daughter was so gleeful that I nearly cried.

No matter how old I get, that feeling never gets old for me. Seeing that life burst forth from the earth and knowing that you are responsible is an amazing feeling, much the same feeling as being a parent or delivering a baby.

A group of volunteers at Hudson Valley Hospital Center are experiencing this same thrill as they watch our Organic Garden for Healing grow lusher each day. From hard packed mud in March to a bounty of flowers, peas, lettuce, herbs and medicinal plants in June. Each day is different. Each day brings something new. We are sharing this harvest with patients at our Cancer Center as part of the Hospital’s Seeds for Health and Harvest for Health programs. But we are sharing more than peas and lettuce. We are sharing with them the wonder of life and that can’t help but to speed their recovery. Cancer patients who are interested in visiting the garden should contact our community outreach coordinator at 914-734-3794 to arrange a tour.

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