“Top Chef” Tom Colicchio and Actress Natalie Portman Hold Fundraiser for National Hunger

Food has always been a passion of renowned chef Tom Colicchio, which is why he was so struck by those who go without it on a daily basis. Colicchio volunteered at an NYC soup kitchen last Thanksgiving. Since then, he has made it his personal vendetta to “change the face of hunger.”  And the head judge of Bravo’s hit show Top Chef is currently using his culinary influence to unite several A-list stars behind his cause.

On February 19, Colicchio plans to co-host a fundraiser, at Colicchio & Sons, with Natalie Portman .  The hope is to raise around $500,000 to fund a documentary directed by his wife Lori Silverbush, called Hungry in America, which is the centerpiece of a multimedia campaign known as the Hungry in America Project.

Among the project’s supporters are actor Ben Affleck, R.E.M front man Michael Stipe, and actress Julianne Moore, whom are all expected to attend Sunday’s event. The film, which will be released sometime next year, will examine America’s food policies and federal legislative process. Silverbush is equally as passionate about this problem as her husband, and she is quick to point out that, as a nation, our food policies are deeply flawed. She said, “We’re the only industrialized nation that has this massive hunger issue.”

Colicchio, who has been a charitable force since he was working as a chef at New York’s Mondrian, said he hopes the film will broaden public awareness about the need for children to have healthier meals more regularly.

The fundraiser for the Hungry in America Project is from 6 to 9 p.m. Sunday at Colicchio & Sons, 85 Tenth Ave. in Manhattan and at Craft in Los Angeles, 10100 Constellation Blvd. on Feb. 28. Tickets for Sunday night’s event are $250 for general admission and $1,000 for the VIP reception at 6 p.m. More information can be obtained by visting www.thefeedfoundation.org.