Chef Vincent Tropepe says teens cooked up good app
A famous TV chef is busy this summer spreading his love of the culinary arts to schools in Brooklyn. Award-winning chef Vincent Tropepe recently paid a visit to the Secondary School for Journalism in Park Slope to congratulate teacher Jason Slabodsky and his team of students as they showed off a food-related app they developed.
The Moesy app the students developed, which is designed to help kids who don’t have food at home after school pick up something to eat at local eateries, won a prize in the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow program. Moesy is a program that allows qualifying students to get free meals at schools or restaurants.
The Secondary School of Journalism, located at 237 Seventh Ave., will receive a $150,000 electronics package from Samsung. The students who developed the app graduated from the school in June.
Tropepe, a Bay Ridge native who starred in the reality series “Raw,” said he was impressed with the inventiveness of the Park Slope students. After asking the students questions on their goals for the app and about a plan for food sustainability, Tropepe agreed to sign letters of recommendation to Borough President Eric Adams and City Councilmembers Brad Lander, Robert Cornegy Jr. and Ben Kallos.
He also penned a letter to Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina praising the work of the students.
The students’ next goal is to convince food establishments around New York City to take part in the app program.
Tropepe said he was exposed to young people who had problems getting enough food to eat when he headed a culinary arts program in a Philadelphia high school years ago. He decided to address the problem by developing a program to make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches available for breakfast and lunch.
At one point, Tropepe was making 350 sandwiches a day. It made him realize that many young people were not getting the food they needed during the day.
“I am a firm believer that children should never go hungry, and it’s the responsibility of those that can provide some type of food, no matter how modest the meal might be, to those who need it,” Tropepe said in a statement.
Tropepe spent nearly 2 1/2 hours and the Secondary School for Journalism. The recent graduates told him that even though they are no longer students of the school, they believe their hard work to make a positive change in how childhood hunger is addressed will continue.
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