A letter to our readers about our future plans, and how you can help.
Dear TASTE community and loyal readers,
Things have changed rapidly over the past few weeks as COVID-19 spreads, affecting the daily life of millions of people around the world. Like many of our readers, we’re stuck at home for the time being, wondering (and worrying) about what’s to come for our communities, and trying to offer as much comfort and relief as we can to the people around us.
In the coming weeks, and beyond, we’ll continue to publish the stories and recipes that we feel so passionate about at TASTE—written from the front lines of today’s swiftly moving food culture. But we’ll also be addressing these difficult times head on, with our readers in mind. We’ll be sharing what we’re cooking from our limited pantries, and we’d love to hear about what you’re cooking, what weird thing you pulled out of the freezer that came in surprisingly handy, and to which organizations you’re donating and volunteering your time. Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or cook along with us on Instagram at @taste.
And make sure to subscribe to our newsletter, too, where we will be sending out frequent reminders of what to read, watch, and cook.
As easy as it is to feel powerless or immobilized at a time like this, it’s important to remember how much power we do have to offer relief to those experiencing food insecurity, people who are unable to leave their homes, and people whose employment will suffer as a result of the virus. New York City is not New York City without the 250,000 restaurant workers who feed our city every day, and as more and more restaurants and bars shutter temporarily (or shift to takeout only), thousands of workers are left without money for rent, health care, and childcare when they need it most.
We’ve put together a list of a few organizations that are doing hard work on all of these issues, and making it a whole lot easier for the rest of us to pitch in. We’ll continue to add more organizations as we learn of them. We hope you’ll check them out and consider donating.
God’s Love We Deliver prepares and brings meals to individuals living with HIV/AIDS, cancer, and other serious illnesses: glwd.org
Meals on Wheels delivers meals to vulnerable seniors across the country: mealsonwheelsamerica.org
ROAR (Relief Opportunities for All Restaurants) started a petition to give restaurant businesses structural support from the government, and it only takes a few seconds to sign: change.org
Restaurant Workers’ Community Foundation is an advocacy group dedicated to wage fairness, gender equity, support for the immigrant community, and more: restaurantworkerscf.org
One Fair Wage Emergency Fund provides cash assistance to restaurant workers whose wages and tips have been affected by Coronavirus: ofwemergencyfund.org
Support Restaurants Dining Bonds Initiative provides an easy way for diners to invest small, though critical, amounts of money in the restaurants we care about, to be redeemed down the line for a meal: supportrestaurants.org
Rally for Restaurants helps you buy gift cards from restaurants you love to send them a bit of support even when you can’t visit in person: rallyforrestaurants.com
Hook Hall Helps has started a fund to help restaurant workers whose income has suffered during the crisis: hookhall.com/helps/#CareKits
Win Son, a restaurant we love in Bushwick, has started a fund to help undocumented workers who do not have access to the same relief resources that many workers have. You can contribute via Venmo at @win-son.
Many regional food banks are working around the clock to provide meals to the people who need them the most during this time, and even people who are confined in quarantine. Here are just a few of them:
Food Bank NYC: foodbanknyc.org
Chicago’s Food Bank: chicagosfoodbank.org
LA Food Bank: lafoodbank.org
Mid-Ohio Food Bank: midohiofoodbank.org
West Seattle Food Bank: westseattlefoodbank.org
And here’s a very prescient reminder from New York Times reporter Tejal Rao:
so many restaurants are struggling that you won’t hear about — they’re not selling merch or gift cards, they’re not on social or delivery apps, they can’t adapt to these changes fast enough. But you can pick up the phone and ~call~ your local places to check in, and order takeout
— Tejal Rao (@tejalrao) March 16, 2020
We’re all in this together. Stay safe, and happy cooking. (Since you asked, the photo above is Portuguese Bread and Cilantro Soup)
—The TASTE Editors