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Release Date: 10.11.2011 | Location: All Metro Atlanta | Organization: The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation

The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation to Host Event on Innovative Remedies for Food Deserts

Event Will Be Available Via Live Webcast, November 2, 2011 (6 p.m. ET)

The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation Speaker Series will host a program on November 2, 2011, examining innovative remedies for food desert neighborhoods, including mobile grocery stores, street food and corner stores.

The Speaker Series program, "Street Food: Attacking Obesity and Wiping Out Food Deserts One City Block At a Time," will feature documentary filmmaker Mary Mazzio, Dwayne Proctor of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Cathy Nonas of the New York City Health Department. The event is part of the Foundation’s ongoing work to reduce childhood obesity in Georgia.

"Connecting families to healthy, affordable food is critical to reversing the obesity crisis," said Penelope McPhee, president of The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation. "We want to unleash Georgia’s creative, entrepreneurial talent to address this public health need."

Nearly 2 million Georgia residents, including 500,000 children, live in low-income neighborhoods with little or no access to grocery stores with fresh produce, according to The Food Trust. This lack of access contributes to disproportionately high rates of obesity, diabetes and other diet-related health problems.

Mazzio’s new documentary film, The Apple Pushers, tells the story of New York City’s Green Carts program, which deploys street vendors to sell fresh fruits and vegetables to neighborhoods where there are no grocery stores.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN’s Chief Medical Correspondent, will moderate the Speaker Series program. Laurie Tisch, founder and president of the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund, will deliver opening remarks. The Tisch Illumination Fund funded New York’s Green Carts program and The Apple Pushers documentary.

In partnership with PreventObesity.Net, a national group harnessing the power of online networks to reverse the childhood obesity epidemic, the Blank Family Foundation will produce a live webcast of the Speaker Series event beginning at 6 p.m. ET. Click here for information on the webcast (or go to No registration is needed to view the webcast.

Seating at the event is limited, and individuals interested in attending should contact JoAnn Ellis ( to determine availability.

Since 2005, the Atlanta Falcons Youth Foundation, an affiliated fund of the Blank Family Foundation, has invested $17 million to improve youth fitness and reduce childhood obesity in Georgia.

Organizations partnering with The Blank Family Foundation on the Speaker Series event include:, Truly Living Well Center for Natural Urban Agriculture, The Food Trust, Georgia Organics, Wholesome Wave Georgia, Grant Park Farmers Market, East Atlanta Village Farmers Market, Georgia Family Connection Partnership, Fulton Fresh, Atlanta Local Food Initiative, Warrick Dunn Family Foundation, Atlanta Community Food Bank, Access to Capital for Entrepreneurs (ACE), and the Atlanta Street Food Coalition.

About The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation Speaker Series:
By convening individuals around issues, innovations and ideas that will shape the quality of life for families in Atlanta and beyond, the Blank Family Foundation Speaker Series aspires to spur civic action and citizen involvement for positive change in people's lives. Visit the Speaker Series web page for more information (

About The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation:
Formed in 1995, The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation promotes innovative solutions to improve the lives of youth and their families, seeking results that move communities beyond what seems possible today. The Foundation invests in early childhood development, education, green space, and the arts and leads giving programs for each of the Blank Family of Businesses, including the Atlanta Falcons. Mr. Blank co-founded The Home Depot, the world’s largest home improvement retailer, in 1978 and retired from the company as co-chairman in 2001. Through the foundation and his family’s personal giving, Mr. Blank has granted more than $250 million to various charitable organizations. Visit the Foundation web site for more information (

Contact Info

Contact Name: John Bare

Company: The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation

Phone: 404.367.2062