David Hertz, who uses food for social change, wins $100K Bronfman Prize


(JTA) — David Hertz, a Jewish social entrepreneur from Brazil, was named the winner of the 2019 Charles Bronfman Prize on Wednesday in recognition of his efforts to alleviate global hunger. The award comes with $100,000 in prize money.

Hertz is the cofounder of Gastromotiva, a Brazilian-based organization that fights unemployment and social inequality and uses cooking classes and nutrition education as tools to “create opportunities for those living on the margins of society.”

The Charles Bronfman Prize, established by the children of the philanthropist, honors humanitarians under age 50 “whose innovative work, informed by Jewish values, has significantly improved the world.”

In a statement, Hertz said his 13-year-old group provides “free vocational kitchen training, entrepreneurial classes and nutrition classes across Brazil, El Salvador, South Africa and Mexico.” During the 2016 Rio Olympics, Hertz opened the Refettorio Gastromotiva in collaboration with renowned chef Massimo Botura and journalist Alexandra Forbes as a no-food-waste cooking school and restaurant.

Previous winners of the prize include criminal justice reformer Amy Bach, refugee rights activist Rebecca Heller and Israeli writer Etgar Keret.

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