As a Georgia transplant living in NYC, Hayley Kahn found herself in a city where seeing people struggle with hunger was just a part of the daily commute. Hayley knew that she wanted to make a difference. So, she joined the Food Bank For New York City Junior Board in 2019 as a way to engage with her new community.
Shortly after, Hayley founded The Supper Series, a speaker series in which she chats with female entrepreneurs in the culinary space to raise money for Food Bank. We took a few moments to sit down with Hayley and talk with her about her connection to food and why she's so passionate about fighting hunger across the five boroughs.
What inspired you to start The Supper Series?
I am so appreciative of how food brings people together. It makes me feel connected to people, it’s where I connect with people. Food allows me to feel deeply seen and loved, like I’m a whole human. Moving to New York made me realize that this is a very luxurious relationship to have with food, and that’s not the case for everyone around me.
I had always been passionate about food and cognizant of the realities of food insecurity, but in New York City, I came face-to-face with it for the first time. The Supper Series is my way of giving back to the local community while supporting a mission I’m deeply passionate about— the fight against hunger within the five boroughs.
What is your favorite memory from all of your Supper Series events?
My favorite one has to be from this past May. I hosted a virtual Supper Series with Food Network Chef and Food Bank Board Member Katie Lee Biegel and I had the incredible pleasure of cooking a recipe alongside Katie from her new cookbook, It’s Not Complicated, live on Zoom (pictured below). My lifelong dream is to be a Food Network chef so this was everything. It was so much fun! Most importantly, we raised more than $20,000 in one night, which equated to 100,000 meals! I couldn’t fall asleep that night because I was still buzzing from the event.
What would you say to other young people looking to get involved with Food Bank For New York City?
I would really encourage everyone to find their own unique way to make a difference. Don’t limit yourself to thinking that community involvement only looks one way. I founded The Supper Series because I believe that many more people, especially young professionals, can get involved — but we need to redefine what that looks like. The Supper Series was born out of this idea that you can be a part of something and be giving back while also pouring into yourself.
What is your favorite meal memory?
One of my favorite food memories is from visiting my grandparents in Mobile, Alabama when I was child. Every morning, my grandma would fill the kitchen table with endless rounds of delicious butter bagels and a spread of every flavor of jam imaginable. While the bagels were delicious, what was even more special was how our entire family started the day together and sat around that table for hours.
If your bodega named a sandwich after you, what would it be called and what would it be made of?
So, I’m an ice cream lover — we served ice cream sandwiches at our engagement party and are looking to do an ice cream wedding cake! So, I’m going to have to go with The Hayley: a chocolate chip ice cream sandwich with vanilla soft serve ice cream, swirls of Dulce de Leche, and sprinkles of sea salt, half dipped in chocolate.
This past November, The Supper Series was named Silver Winner in the Shorty Awards, which celebrates the positive social media impact that brands, agencies, and non-profits have on society. Hayley continues to uplift female voices within the culinary space on each and every one of her Supper Series events.
Post Topic(s): AMBASSADORS