Catholic priest and renowned chef to demonstrate healthy cooking


— Father Leo Patalinghug “Fr. Leo,” Catholic priest of the Archdiocese of Baltimore, celebrated chef, founder of Grace Before Meals and author of cookbook Spicing Up Married Life, will visit the Franciscan Center of Baltimore on Thursday, October 17, 2013 to host a special cooking demonstration for families and individuals participating in the Franciscan Center’s Fresh Harvest Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) project, designed to introduce fresh, healthy foods to families and individuals in need in our community, with the goal of helping them to incorporate these foods into their daily diet. Fr. Patalinghug will show his audience how to prepare a delicious meal using fresh vegetables included in that week’s CSA share. This event will take place from 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. on October 17 at The Franciscan Center located at 101 W. 23rd Street in Baltimore City.

“I am more than excited to be able to participate as a guest chef for the Franciscan Center’s Fresh Harvest CSA project,” said Fr. Leo. “With more than 300,000 people in Central Maryland living without access to safe and nutritious foods, it is important to offer and provide delicious, yet healthy food options to those who are less fortunate. I hope that my food preparation tips and recipes continue to inspire and encourage those who are underserved to live a healthier lifestyle.”

Since June 6, 2013, the Franciscan Center has provided families and individuals identified to participate in the Fresh Harvest CSA Project with a free weekly share of seasonal fresh produce from One Straw Farm, the largest Food Alliance Certified Vegetable Farm in Maryland, as well as basic cooking utensils, seasonings and weekly food preparation tips and recipes, all to encourage a healthier lifestyle.

The Fresh Harvest CSA Project is the first of its kind in Baltimore and is the latest in a series of healthy foods initiatives to be introduced by the Franciscan Center on behalf of poor and hungry citizens of Baltimore. It’s also a unique opportunity to gain information about the food preferences of economically vulnerable men, women and children in the Baltimore community.

The Franciscan Center is partnering in this project with United Way of Central Maryland, the Johns Hopkins University Center for a Livable Future, University of Maryland Extension Food Supplement Nutrition Education, Molly Shattuck Vibrant Living and One Straw Farm.

The Franciscan Center is committed to improving public health throughout the Baltimore community by offering access to fresh, healthy foods through their soup kitchen and emergency food pantry programs. The Center serves hot, nutritious meals to as many as 600 men, women and children daily, five days a week throughout the year. The Franciscan Center’s emergency food pantry also provided more than 6,200 bags of groceries to needy families and individuals throughout 2012.

For more information about the Franciscan Center’s Fresh Harvest CSA Project and cooking demonstration, visit:, or contact Meg Ducey at 410- 852-4540.