March of Dimes, the nonprofit organization leading the fight for the health of all moms and babies, today announced that philanthropist, restauranteur, and celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse and actress, producer and New York Times best-selling author La La Anthony are headlining Signature Chefs Feeding Motherhood Celebration on November 13 to raise critical funds for research, programs, and services that support moms, moms-to-be, and babies.
Even before the onset of COVID-19, the United States faced an urgent maternal and infant health crisis and remained among the most dangerous developed nations for childbirth. Now more than ever, the health crisis is affecting moms and babies and the issue is significantly driven by the health equity gap: for example, a significant racial disparity in maternal death exists with Black women being three times more likely to die from pregnancy compared to White women.
Each year, March of Dimes hosts “Signature Chefs” events across the country, bringing together thousands of volunteers including community chefs to spotlight local cuisine and culture— all to raise funds to support the health of moms and babies.
The highlight of the Signature Chefs Feeding Motherhood Celebration features Emeril teaching La La and the viewers at home one of Emeril’s very special recipes – Meril’s Pasta Nero – named in honor of his daughter and featuring his mother’s favorite food. The event will be livestreamed on March of Dimes’ Facebook and Instagram pages on Friday, November 13, 2020, at 7:30 pm ET/4:30 pm PT. Also joining the celebration are film and TV producer and advocate for moms and babies, Tonya Lewis Lee, Signature Chefs Feeding Motherhood National Event Chair and member of March of Dimes National Board of Trustees, along with broadcast journalist, author and advocate for women, Gretchen Carlson, member of March of Dimes National Board of Trustees.
“At a very young age, by spending time with my mother in the kitchen, I learned that a delicious meal was defined by so much more than just exceptional taste – food feeds our soul, brings us joy and gives families a reason to come together around the table,” said philanthropist, restauranteur, and celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse. “In honor of my mother, my family and families around the world, I am grateful to be able to share my culinary passion by joining March of Dimes in an effort to help every mom and baby get the best possible start in life.”
“Food has the magical ability to connect different generations as favorite family recipes are passed down through the years. During the pandemic, food can also help us build a sense of family and community as we gather virtually from afar,” said actress, producer and New York Times best-selling author, La La Anthony. “And for generations, March of Dimes has been there to nourish healthier pregnancies for mothers everywhere. That’s why it’s crucial we support their vital work and ensure every mom and baby can be healthy.”
This fall, Signature Chefs Feeding Motherhood events are virtual with hundreds of chefs supporting their local events throughout the United States in creative and innovative ways helping to raise more than $15 million for the mission of March of Dimes. Proceeds from the local and national Signature Chefs Feeding Motherhood events are used to nourish all aspects of motherhood, from prenatal to postpartum research, programs, and services.
“Feeding Motherhood is a movement to fuel change and ensure all moms have access to care from prenatal to postpartum. We thank Emeril, La La, and all the chefs taking part in virtual events for stepping up to fight for the health of all moms, moms-to-be, and babies by drawing attention to the critical need for more research and programs, as well as promoting healthy living,” said Stacey D. Stewart, President and CEO of March of Dimes.
March of Dimes’ Signature Chefs Feeding Motherhood events are taking place across the country as the organization calls attention to the fact that nearly 7 million American women of childbearing age live in counties with limited or no maternal care. In September, March of Dimes released a groundbreaking report, Nowhere to Go: Maternity Care Deserts Across the U.S., highlighting of that these women, 35 percent of whom are women of color, face an increased risk of serious health complications, including maternal and infant mortality and morbidity.
For more information and to find local events, visit feedingmotherhood.org.