A letter from Mario

For the past 20 years, I have made a huge point to concentrate a good portion of my time, energy, expertise and funds to numerous charities locally, nationally and internationally. Throughout this time, I have remained particularly focused on hunger relief and children’s disease research. There is no greater role that has brought me more joy and fulfillment in my life than being a dad to my two boys. But I wanted to do more, give more, and learn more for all the kids who need help.

In the years leading up to our 2008 launch, I developed the plan for my charity: to focus energy on children and children’s aid alone. The mission of the Mario Batali Foundation is to educate and empower children, encourage them to dream big ,and provide them with the necessary tools to become an active force for change in today’s world. In an effort to do so, MBF strives to ensure all children are well read, well fed and well cared for.

Starting a foundation takes an enormous amount of work and, of course, support from people with big hearts. The funds raised are the vital seeds that help my team and me grow and nurture this important mission that will hopefully outlive me, my children, and my children’s children.

Join me in my mission and assist me in making the lives of our children better and stronger. Working with MBF is a fun and delicious ride toward helping and saving our future. So stay tuned for great things to come!

Donate to MBF today

Mission Statement

The Mario Batali Foundation was established to feed, protect, educate and empower children, encouraging them to dream big while providing them with the necessary tools to become an active force for change in today’s world. In an effort to do so, the MBF strives to ensure all children are well read, well fed and well cared for.

For more information on our beneficiaries, click here.

Philanthropic History

Long before he was a household name, Mario Batali was a philanthropist. Whether donating his time, services, or dollars, Mario has been actively involved in the charities close to his heart for many years. “Children’s disease research and relief, and hunger relief,” Mario says, describing which benefits he and his staff support in a 2008 New York Times article. “We do it because it feels good to do good.”

Since 2003, Mario has served on the board of The Food Bank For New York City, playing an integral part in the organization’s various achievements and events. Each spring, Mario and his wife, Susan Cahn, organize and execute the Can Do Awards Gala. Thanks to Mario and Susan’s efforts, the Can Do awards consistently raise over $1 million annually. Mario also works withCitymeals-on-Wheels and City Harvest, organizations devoted to hunger relief both city and nationwide.

Mario is also a founding member of the Feeding America Entertainment Council, previously America’s Second Harvest. As a member of the council, Mario helps elevate the organization’s profile to help make hunger relief in America a top priority in the general public’s consciousness.

Given Mario’s love for kids, it should come as no surprise that children love Mario right back! Mario has had the privilege and honor of being a wish-granter for the Make-a-Wish Foundation. In addition, Mario is proud supporter of the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation. For years Mario has participated in the organization’s annual Kids for Kids Family Carnival, raising money to support the foundation’s critical research, training, and advocacy programs.

Mario sits on the Board of Directors of the Emeril Lagasse Foundation whose mission is to create new opportunities for children, especially those from disadvantaged circumstances, to realize their full potential as productive and creative individuals. In his capacity as a board member of the Lunchbox Fund, Mario was integral in launching Feedie, a mobile app designed to enable those who share photos of food into providing actual food for children in need in South African townships.

As a board member of the New York Botanical Garden, Mario creates the “Mario Batali Kitchen Gardens.” The Edible Garden is an interactive space filled with beds of vegetables and herbs where visitors can pick up recipes for his popular dishes, and learn how to create fresh, seasonal family meals. Mario also sits on the board of the Washington Square Park Conservancy.

MBF in 30 Seconds

Learn more about our grantees

Board of Directors

Mario Batali
Director and President

Cathy Frankel
Director, Secretary
Mario Batali Enterprises LLC — New York, New York

Michael Stipe
REM — Athens, Georgia

Louis Festa
Director, Treasurer
Zero Point Zero — New York, New York

Jayne Wallace
Director, Public Relations
New York, New York


The Mario Batali Foundation is grateful to all of the corporate partners and organizations who so generously support the Mario Batali Foundation – ensuring children are well read, well fed and well cared for.

Sponsors enjoy a wide range of benefits unique to the Mario Batali Foundation, its events, activities, and promotional efforts. There are many ways companies and organizations can contribute and get involved:

Sponsorship of Special Events.

Donation of in-kind services

Support Employee Giving/Matching and MORE!

To find out how your company can get involved, please contact Susan Marzano at