With all the headlines for the past two weeks -- it's hard not to think about Haiti everyday and especially every time I eat, as it's taken days (going onto weeks) for most of the suffering there to get any food relief. And short of actually going there, the best we can do is support the efforts of those who are.
Which brings me to this week's Friday Quickie, full of dining events around town that'll support the efforts of charities working there right now.
But before I start plugging the assorted dining-for-a-cause events, let me emphasize the best way to help is to donate to the charities directly (Huffington Post has a great list of many Haiti-helping causes with summaries of what they're doing for the situation) -- with charity-company partnerships it can be hard to decipher where the money is gonna go, which fund the money will be allocated to, and how much of one's patronage will actually benefit the charity partner (sometimes it's 100% of net profits, sometimes less than that, and sometimes the company will just donate a flat amount regardless of sales/customer figures.)
Now I'm not accusing any help Haiti event, eatery or charity for having less-than-honorable intentions, but by donating directly you have the final say of how much money is going to your charity of choice, whose relief focus may be more aligned to your giving goals (say, providing care for the newly-orphaned vs. setting up temporary shelters for the homeless vs. rebuilding workforce & infrastructure with cash-for-work programs vs. petitioning other nations to ease debt load or immigration regulations from Haiti.)
Personally, I contributed my past 2 months of blog ad revenues to Mercy Corps, an organization with an outstanding record of helping impoverished regions facing a multitude of crises and disasters, providing assistance for both immediate needs and the long road to economic recovery and eventual self-sufficiency. You can read about some of the things they're doing in Haiti here! But of course, giving whatever you're able to spare toward any Haiti relief nonprofit is much appreciated too, most of all by the earthquake-stricken ones there.
Now that I got off my lil foodbloggy soapbox, if you're going to be eating/drinking out in the near future, do consider the below tasty options that will benefit the relief efforts.
Ongoing - get a "support Haiti brown bag lunch" from The Tavern in Brentwood, $3 from each order will go towards Haiti relief efforts
Throughout January - BLT Steak will set aside $10 from every bottle of wine sold to International Medical Corps and other relief organizations
Throughout January - The newly-up-and-running Eagle Rock Brewery will set aside $1 from each pint of Revolution Ale sold at their tasting room ($5 per pint) for Haiti relief.
Until Saturday, Jan. 23 - All wine proceds at FIG Restaurant will go to Share Our Strength's efforts in Haiti
Until Saturday, Jan. 23 - The Edison will suggest a $10 donation at the door to go towards Doctors Without Borders' Haiti Relief Fund. Tonight from 5 to 7 p.m. they will also have a celebrity auction for that charity
Saturday, Jan. 23 - TLofts will be the site of food truck gathering from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., and proceeds from that day's sales (amount/percentage varies by participating trucks) will benefit the American Red Cross
Sunday, Jan. 24 - Barbrix will donate 10% of gross sales from 5 p.m. to close towards Doctors Without Borders
Sunday, Jan. 24 - Osteria Mozza will donate 10% of proceeds, 5% of gratuities and take additional donations from guests for charities providing Haiti earthquake relief
Monday, Jan. 25 - Haven Gastropub in Orange will be donating all their profits from that day to Mercy Corps' efforts; and staff will be donating their time and gratuities for that day too
Sunday, Jan. 31 - Infamous IceCreamery Scoops will be holding a "Cookies without Borders" from 2 to 5 p.m. for Doctors without Borders
Sunday, Jan. 31 - 50% of all sales from Breadbar Century City from 7 to 9 p.m. will go towards American Red Cross
Saturday, Feb. 6 - Vertical Wine Bistro will be hold a Haitian Libations event from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m., with bloggers Rumdood, Mattatouille and Gourmet Pigs working the bar and serving specialty drinks; 50% of all food and drink profits will go towards Artists for Peace and Justice
Of course, fellow media and blogger folks are helping get the word out too, here are some more help-Haiti-by-eating-and-drinking lists from:
LA Times Daily Dish
And other free ways to give:
Cathy of gastronomyblog will be donating 100% of ad revenues from January to American Red Cross's relief efforts
To help Oxfam America's assistance to Haiti, click daily at Care2
And then there are other click-to-donate sites such as The Hunger Site and FreeRice -- while they do not claim to be donating to Haiti directly, they've been helping feed the less fortunate from all over the world for a while -- and food shortage isn't just a problem that comes with disasters.