Farm to Feast distributed sandwiches and bottled water to the protesters. Photo by Seeham Raham.
Some chef employees Alexis StarkeyFarm to Feast catering company was stripped with tear gas during a protest on Monday night. The next morning he woke up, like many others, wondering how he could be useful. He texted his team: Hey, do you want to feed some protesters?
“We are not political organizers, but what we know how to do is make food, and protesters need to eat,” Starkey said. “I hope we help in a small way to maintain the protest.”
Starkey reached out to several organizations, but was unable to coordinate quickly with them. So he recruited a number of volunteers and started making turkey and cheese sandwiches and hummus and vegetables. His team asked friends to donate, then posted on social media. Overnight, they raised more than $ 2,300. Sandwiches – 500 and counting – are labeled with QR codes that direct people to the ACLU guidelines for protesting rights. The team has posted on 16 and I Northwest streets and also provides masks and hand sanitizers.
So many people contributed, marched and reflected in protest against racial injustice and police brutality swelled throughout the country. But for many of those in the DC food and drink scene, still struggling from the Covid-19 pandemic, the obvious thing to do is to feed people.
Most of their efforts were not organized in any official capacity. Restaurants and other businesses use their social media followers to gather supplies and donations and hit the streets to give what they can. On Wednesday, a manager from Call your mother handing out 100 bagels. A group of people posted about it, so the bagel shop now offers more to any group that wants it. Mount Pleasant Spanish Restaurant Mola send explosive emails to followers to collect granola bars, water bottles, and other items. Neighbors appeared short notice with everything from paper towels to sanitized swimming goggles to protect against tear gas, and co-owners Erin Lingle filled up his car and headed for the city center to find a delivery place. Since then the restaurant has received more donations from neighboring restaurants Elle and Every Peach Market, and vendors connect them with discounts to double their supply purchases for another drop on Saturday.
Red Bear Beer Manufacturing, a gay brewery in Noma, has turned into a larger supply drop-off for the newly formed group called DC Freedom Fighters, which has coordinated legal, medical and other resources for the protesters.
“People are coming out. We have more than 600 water boxes. We fill the storage unit, “said the storage room manager Liz Cox. “We have a continuous contribution for more than nine hours.”
Red Bear is now trying to target the items most needed for protests this weekend: protein snacks, traffic cones, individual sunscreens, walkie talkies, rain ponchos, and much more that you can find here.
Pastry chefs Kandis Smith, who is a executive baker at Wow before the pandemic, initially looked to Amazon to buy supplies for protesters when he saw an initial list of what was needed from Freedom Fighters DC.
“I have worked in restaurants for a long time. I have made so many orders, “Smith said.” It just clicked on my mind. I just think all the restaurants that are closed now don’t really use things, or maybe they have advantages for things they don’t know what to do. What. “
So Smith has used it Instagram to try to collect plastic gloves, packaged snacks, folding tables, gallons of milk, vinegar and more from the restaurant. “We can get goods at very discounted prices, we can get goods in very large quantities, and we can get them very quickly. So that makes sense. “
Burmese Restaurant Thamee is preparing 500 sandwiches for the protesters, but for the co-owner Simone Jacobson, that’s just a continuation of the work that he and his team have done so far. Finding ways to empower black and brown people has been embedded in business from the start.
“We partnered with people of color to open restaurants. We employ restaurant staff with people of color, “Jacobson said. H Street’s place also holds a bi-monthly dinner club highlighting the color chef to create a launchpad for upcoming talent and who might not have a platform.
Since March, Thamee has operated public kitchens, providing more than 2,000 meals for health workers and other frontline staff in DC prisons. The restaurant is working with José AndrésWorld Central Kitchen, but Jacobson makes a point to partner with prisons, where he previously volunteered to teach yoga classes to inmates.
“They are overworked, under-staffed,” Jacobson said. “WWe specifically feed black people because we specifically know that black people are disproportionately affected by this virus. “
So yes, of course Jacobson will feed the protesters too. But he also hopes that the industry will do more.
“It must be an ongoing effort because white supremacy did not begin when George Floyd died, and it will not end when this protest ends. There are so many ways that our industry can be more effective than just feeding. We can hire employees and treat them well and provide a safe space for them. “
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