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The HOPE Program Announces 3rd Annual "A Taste of HOPE": An Evening of Tastings, Toasts & Transformations

New York, NY, May 13, 2014 --( Celebrity chef and bestselling cookbook author Rocco Dispirito will be among the dozens enjoying an evening of tastes, toasts and transformations at The HOPE Program’s third annual ‘A Taste of Hope.’ The work-readiness nonprofit’s signature fundraising event is being held on Thursday, May 15 from 6-8:30 p.m. at the Steelcase, Inc., overlooking Central Park.

This year, long-time HOPE volunteer Tod Mann of Brooklyn will also be honored for his service. Mann, who is widely known throughout the Downtown Brooklyn community, has served as Board Chair and Treasurer, on the Development Committee, and as Chair of the Investment Committee.

“HOPE aims to provide struggling New Yorkers with the necessary tools and skills to rebuild their lives and strengthen their communities,” said Jennifer Mitchell, executive director of the HOPE Program. “We are extremely thankful for all of the support that is given to us through the ‘Taste of HOPE’ event and from our employer partners and volunteers. It will be with great pleasure that we honor our board member and friend Tod Mann who has been so dedicated to helping advance the HOPE mission over the past 20 years.”

‘A Taste of HOPE’s’ food partners, donating a variety of foods, wines, beer and spirits include local culinary businesses such as Butter Beans, Chelsea Market Baskets, Evelyn's Kitchen, Neuman’s Kitchen and Tito's Handmade Vodka, among others. These partners are also employers of HOPE students who participate in one of the organization’s three training programs, GROCERYworks, which prepares students for careers in the New York City food industry.

“Not only are we excited to provide attendees with the opportunity to sample a mouth-watering selection of foods, but we are looking forward to sharing the transformational stories of students that HOPE has empowered, who many of these businesses also employ,” Mitchell added.

Additional food vendors include: Brooklyn Seltzer Boys, Cupa Cabana, Four and Twenty Blackbirds, Indiana Market & Catering, Jimmy's No 43, Kossar's Bialys, Russ & Daughters, and Terri. Additional details on food partners, a full list of sponsors and details on where to purchase tickets can be found at

About The HOPE Program
The HOPE Program is a work readiness training, job placement assistance and career advancement program which has empowered New Yorkers living in poverty to transform their lives for nearly 30 years. What makes HOPE unique is its outcomes-driven approach to student success and commitment to helping clients retain and advance in their jobs. HOPE serves clients with severe barriers to success. Nearly half of HOPE clients have conviction or substance abuse histories and more than 40% did not complete high school or a GED. To help address these barriers, HOPE provides a wide range of services that support job placement and retention, including: hundreds of hours of intensive work readiness training, focusing on literacy, math, computer skills, customer service, resume writing, and interview prep, among other skills; GED preparation; internship experience; mental health services; on-site daily meals; transportation stipends; and ongoing vocational counseling and support.
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The HOPE Program
Josette Robinson

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