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  • Writer's pictureGift for Life

Gift for Life Kicks Off 2024 Fundraising with Events at Winter Atlanta Market



December 7, 2023 — Gift for Life, the gift, stationery, and home décor industries’ sole national charitable organization, announced today that its 2024 fundraising will begin at the winter 2024 Atlanta Market with two activities tied to the new World Central Kitchen Cookbook and special connection with the market’s Opening Night Party.


Ari Lowenstein, Chair of Gift for Life, and owner of Ari’s Pantry will prepare and serve dishes from the WCK cookbook on Thursday, January 18, from 5 pm – 7pm, in the Darrah and Co showroom (Building 2, Floor 18), and will do a live cooking demonstration from the WCK cookbook on Friday, January 19, from 2:30 pm – 3:30 pm, in the JURA Demonstration Kitchen (Building 2, Floor 8). Attendees at the two events can sample the dishes and qualify to win cookbooks donated by publisher Penguin Random House.

With a contribution of at least $20 to World Central Kitchen’s crisis-related hunger relief efforts, donors will qualify to win one of 50 free copies of the cookbook. On Friday, during the Demonstration Kitchen session, one cookbook personally-signed by celebrity chef and WCK founder Chef Jose Andres will be awarded. Donate online at donate.wck.org/fundraiser/giftforlife2024.

The World Central Kitchen Cookbook is filled with recipes inspired by the places the WCK Relief Team has cooked following disasters and other crises around the world. Each chapter focuses on one of their core values and shares inspiring stories from the chefs, volunteers and communities they’ve helped during times of crisis or conflict. In addition to tasty and nutritious recipes, the book tells the fascinating story of WCK and its network of volunteers and cooks around the world who work to “Build longer tables, not higher walls.” (https://wck.org/cookbook)

On Thursday, Chef Ari will cook a dish from each of the seven core values and inspirations of WCK as an organization: Empathy (Braised Pork al Pastor): Urgency (Arepas); Adaptation (Reem’s Kafta Bil Bandora); Hope (Ukrainian Borsch); Community (Brook’s Carrot Farro Salad); Resilience (Kamal’s Freekeh); and Joy (The Duchess’s Lemon Olive Oil Cake). On Friday, his live cooking demonstration will showcase the WCK Cookbook’s Arepas, round corn patties that are grilled and eaten in South America, naturally gluten free and more nutritious than most bread.

“We are grateful for the opportunity to create two food and fundraising events centered on raising awareness for World Central Kitchen and their amazing work around the world,” said Lowenstein. “We hope the industry will join us and share this experience!”

As an extension of the cooking events, Atlanta Market’s “Market Kick-Off Party,” on Wednesday, January 17, also will benefit Gift For Life and World Central Kitchen. The event, which runs from 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm in the Building 3 Atrium celebrates opening day of the Atlanta Market temporary exhibits with music, drinks and light bites. ANDMORE, owner/operator of Atlanta Market, will match donations, up to $2,500, made to World Central Kitchen.

Atlanta Market runs January 16-22, 2024, at AmericasMart Atlanta.  Atlanta Market is a dynamic and immersive wholesale sourcing destination housing the nation's largest product mix for gift complemented by a broad selection of home décor, furnishings, apparel, and the nation’s largest outdoor living presentation. It features three buildings with 51 floors of showrooms and temporary exhibits with thousands of brands that attract retailers and designers from every U.S. state and more than 50 countries. For information, visit AtlantaMarket.com.

Founded in 2010 by Chef José Andrés, World Central Kitchen (WCK) is a nonprofit organization that is first to the frontlines providing fresh meals in response to crises, while working to build resilient food systems with locally led solutions. Applying a model of quick action, leveraging local resources and adapting in real time, WCK has served more than 300 million nourishing meals around the world. When disaster strikes, WCK’s Relief Team mobilizes with the urgency of now to start cooking and serving meals to people in need. By partnering with organizations on the ground and activating a network of local restaurants, food trucks, or emergency kitchens, WCK serves comforting meals to survivors of disasters quickly and effectively. To support regional economies, WCK prioritizes purchasing local ingredients to cook with or distribute directly to families in need. WCK knows that good food provides not only nourishment, but also comfort and hope, especially in times of crisis. Learn more at wck.org.

Gift for Life was founded by Peter Schauben in 1992 in response to the tragic loss of industry lives to AIDS. The organization’s first meeting at the National Stationery Show brought together a cross-section of the industry’s leading publishers, market centers, sales reps, manufacturers, and retailers – all willing to convene and work together towards a common goal. Since that time, Gift for Life has raised nearly $6 million for AIDS research, education, treatment and care through nationwide at-market events, cause marketing programs and direct donations. In 2021, Gift for Life pivoted towards online digital events with a specific emphasis on COVID-related hunger relief and has funded provision of nearly 100,000 hot, nutritious meals to communities impacted by crisis and conflict worldwide. The all-volunteer organization continues to support year-round programs that address hunger relief, as well as annual support for GMHC’s HIV/AIDS treatment, prevention and advocacy programs. More information is available at www.giftforlife.org.

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