NEW YORK, Oct. 16, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- In honor of World Food Day, BBVA Compass and Chef Jordi Roca of Spain's El Celler de Can Roca -- No. 1 on Restaurant magazine's World's 50 Best Restaurants list -- teamed up to help prepare and serve an afternoon meal to seniors who rely on Food Bank For New York City's Community Kitchen & Food Pantry in West Harlem.
BBVA Compass also pledged $25,000 to support the organization's mission to end hunger in New York City.
Food Bank For New York City, the city's major hunger-relief organization working to end hunger throughout the five boroughs, says one in five New Yorkers relies on its programs and services to keep food on the table. The elderly are among the most vulnerable groups, with one in six -- nearly 204,000 in the city -- receiving food from soup kitchens and food pantries. The donation from BBVA Compass will help provide 125,000 meals to New Yorkers in need.
"BBVA Compass' mission is caring for all people, of all ages," said BBVA Compass Chief Marketing and Client Experience Officer Jennifer Dominiquini. "We're honored to support Food Bank For New York City's invaluable work by bringing to bear one of the culinary world's brightest talents, especially on a day when the eyes of the world are focused on food insecurity."
Roca helped the staff at Bluejeen Restaurant, one of Food Bank's partners, prepare an elegant luncheon. He and members of his own staff then served the meal to 100 seniors at the restaurant, which is across the street from Food Bank For New York City's Community Kitchen which houses the Neighborhood Center for Adults 60+.
"During the past year, Food Bank For New York City has seen the need for emergency food in our city increase while the resources required to combat hunger and poverty have decreased," said Camesha Grant, vice president of Community Connection & Outreach for Food Bank. "The number of meals that vulnerable New Yorkers are missing due to lack of sufficient resources tops a staggering 241 million, representing an enormous Meal Gap. The Meal Gap, adapted as the City's official measure of food insecurity, has now been geographically mapped to reveal where hunger lives – enabling Food Bank to allocate resources to areas with the highest need across New York City. We are enormously grateful to Chef Jordi and to BBVA Compass for their support. This donation will go a long way to make sure that more New Yorkers are able to put healthy food on the table."
On Thursday evening, Roca participated in the New York City Wine and Food Festival, where he and Chef Enrique Olvera of Cosme prepared dinner for 120 guests. All of the net proceeds of the dinner, and other festival events, benefit Food Bank For New York City and the festival's other charity partner, No Kid Hungry.
BBVA, the Spain-based parent company of BBVA Compass, and the Roca brothers are in the second year of a three-year partnership. Each summer, the bank takes the Roca brothers -- head chef Joan, sommelier Josep and pastry chef Jordi -- and 40 members of their staff on a tour of the bank's global footprint, where they prepare meals exclusively for clients.
The Roca brothers have muscled their way to the top of the high-end restaurant world, landing the coveted No. 1 spot on Restaurant magazine's list twice, through their wondrous techniques that honor tradition and push culinary boundaries. Jordi Roca won the magazine's World's Best Pastry Chef Award in 2014. The judges called him "part chef, part architect, part magician" and an "eccentric but modest genius," citing his work recreating famous perfumes in edible form.
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About BBVA Group
BBVA Compass is a subsidiary of BBVA Compass Bancshares Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of BBVA (NYSE: BBVA) (MAD: BBVA). BBVA is a customer-centric global financial services group founded in 1857. The Group has a solid position in Spain, is the largest financial institution in Mexico and has leading franchises in South America and the Sunbelt region of the United States. Its diversified business is geared toward high-growth markets and relies on technology as a key sustainable competitive advantage. Corporate responsibility is at the core of its business model. BBVA fosters financial education and inclusion, and supports scientific research and culture. It operates with the highest integrity, a long-term vision and applies the best practices. The Group is present in the main sustainability indexes. More information about the BBVA Group can be found at www.bbva.com.
About BBVA Compass
BBVA Compass is a Sunbelt-based financial institution that operates 672 branches, including 341 in Texas, 89 in Alabama, 77 in Arizona, 62 in California, 45 in Florida, 38 in Colorado and 20 in New Mexico, and commercial and private client offices throughout the U.S. BBVA Compass ranks among the top 25 largest U.S. commercial banks based on deposit market share and ranks among the largest banks in Alabama (2nd), Texas (4th) and Arizona (5th). BBVA Compass has been recognized as one of the leading small business lenders by the Small Business Administration, and its mobile app recently earned the Mobile Banking Leader in Functionality Award for the second consecutive year from Javelin Strategy & Research. Additional information about BBVA Compass can be found at www.bbvacompass.com, by following @BBVACompassNews on Twitter or visiting newsroom.bbvacompass.com.
BBVA Compass is a trade name of Compass Bank.
SOURCE BBVA Compass