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updated: 8/15/2017 9:13 AM

Caputo Cheese invests in Bernie's Book Bank

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MELROSE PARK -- Caputo Cheese announced a five-year commitment to Bernie's Book Bank, one of Chicago's largest literacy programs.

Caputo Cheese will support and contribute to the fundraising efforts of Bernie's Book Bank, with the belief that reading comprehension and literacy are critical for early childhood development.

Founded as a 501(c)(3) in September 2009, Bernie's Book Bank collects, processes and distributes new and gently-used quality children's books to significantly increase book ownership among at-risk infants, toddlers and school-age children. Each year, Bernie's Book Bank delivers 12 age-appropriate books per child from birth- 6th grade with the belief that books and reading are both the vehicle and path to a better life.

"The education of our children starts in the home, particularly with books," said Natale Caputo, president of Caputo Cheese. "As we know, many families must choose between saving for the rent over purchasing a book for a young child. We are very proud of our partnership with Bernie's Book Bank as this allows us to help over 100,000 kids and their families in Chicago keeping in mind their business model can succeed in any city or demographic."

Caputo Cheese began in 1978 as a small retail cheese shop, selling small bulk quantities of various types of domestic and imported cheeses. The founders, René and Pasquale Caputo, soon began providing processed and blended cheeses to food distributors and manufacturers. Initially, the cheeses included Parmesan, Romano and Mozzarella, but they expanded their product line to include other high-quality cheeses, as well as Italian specialties such as oils, vinegars, pastas and spices.