Margaret Zakarian | @mzakarian
Entrepreneur, Restaurateur, Philanthropist
Food Council, City Harvest
You are known for your business prowess and your successful restaurants, and equally for your commitment to giving back. How did philanthropy and service to others become such a big part of your life?
I have a large extended Catholic Lebanese family, and from the time I can remember, we were always doing good works together to help those in need. Two things were very consistent - there was always a lot of food and always a lot of consideration for others! I feel fortunate to have had this ingrained so early on.
City Harvest has an incredible impact on the lives of New Yorkers who are facing hunger. What additional measures have you taken to raise funds during these unprecedented times.
We produced the Great New York Foodathon, and XTX Markets had a matching pledge up to $2.5 million dollars. Cityharvest.org has the Foodathon on their website in case you missed the live premier. The star power was amazing - look out for a hilarious cooking demo by comedian Jim Gaffigan and an impressive performance by John Legend to close it out. This initiative raised enough to help feed over a million New Yorkers! Let's keep it going!
Giving back is important to our customers and followers . What are a few other organizations that you feel are doing great work?
I am constantly amazed by the amount of private donations and good work that happens daily in America. Our nation is the MOST charitable amongst all other nations through private donations and that is something we should all be very proud of. It is part of our culture to come together to help others, and there are just so many organizations it is hard to name them all. Some of my favorites are CTAOP, Convoy of Hope, and MSK.