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Academy Award-winning actress Marcia Gay Harden (pictured) will play the role of co-chair at “Fertile Ground,” a benefit for Slow Food USA in DUMBO.

The event, co-chaired by Chez Panisse founder Alice Waters, will honor school nutrition consultant and author Ann Cooper, former executive chef and director of wellness and nutrition at The Ross School in East Hampton.

Funds raised at the benefit, to be held Wednesday, May 25, at 7 pm, will benefit “Slow Food in Schools,” a national education program of garden-to-table projects that help children develop an appreciation for real, wholesome food and an understanding of sustainable food practices through cooking classes, school lunch initiatives and by cultivating school gardens. (Funds raised will also provide seed money to local “Slow Food in Schools” projects; the New York chapter of Slow Food is based in DUMBO.)

Slow Food, a non-profit organization, was founded in Italy nearly two decades ago as a response to the opening of a McDonald’s in Rome’s Piazza di Spagna and has since grown into an international movement with more than 80,000 members in 100 countries.

At “Fertile Ground,” to be held at 37 Main St. at Water Street in DUMBO, a silent auction and hors d’oeuvres reception (featuring a spring menu of slow foods) will be followed by a live auction. Tickets are $150. The online auction is being held now through May 22 at For more information or to purchase tickets, call Sara or Ragan at (718) 260-8000.

Updated 4:00 pm, November 10, 2010
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