Each year brings a different set of challenges for local food systems. But each year has seen some progress in New York City, thanks to the non-profit organization Just Food. From helping small farmers through CSA to bolstering fresh food access through city farms, Just Food makes it more possible to Let Us Eat Local. So on September 17th, we’re celebrating with a benefit event called that. In addition, you can participate by winning a unique prize in its silent auction, now open to all.
From now until October 1, you can bid on any of the auction prizes from Just Food on CharityBuzz, and proceeds will go toward its funding for the rest of the year. But they’re not just prizes as in run-of-the-mill products for the most part, nor are the edible delights at Let Us Eat Local your standard menu items; they’re donations from community businesses, doled out just for this fundraiser. Many of the auction items are exclusively curated gifts or experiences that you can’t order otherwise–a tour with the founder of an urban rooftop farm, a culinary trip to the Berkshires, the VIP treatment from a high–profile restaurant, etc. Want custom-made window planters? Gowanus Furniture Co. has your back. Need to make your own beer recipe but don’t know how? Take a 5-hour brewing session with Brooklyn Brew Shop and pick up three cases of it afterward. Want to learn how to make pizza, jam, Indian-Chinese food, butchering, Shibori silk-dying, or Perisan Tahdig? Get a private lesson from Pizza a Casa, Anarchy In A Jar, Tangra Supper Club, Fleisher’s, Heritage Meat Shop, Katrin Reifeiss or Louisa Shafia. One-on-one guidance on your nutrition can be targeted by Middleberg Nutrition, The Healthy Apple, or Clean Plates. You can win a package of classes or membership at gyms. You can take tours of thoughtful distilleries, wineries, breweries, and chocolate factories. You can even take a food blogging mentorship program with me.
I throw my hat off to this nonprofit because it does so much with so little, and its educational programs are so accessible to anyone. I’ve been a volunteer cheerleader for its causes because it actually matters, and your participation matters, too. Instead of splurging for a considerably expensive restaurant meal, consider buying a ticket to the event next Wednesday at the Altman Building, where you’ll be treated to exclusive tastings from more than 50 of the best restaurants, wineries, breweries and artisanal makers in the city. Instead of spending on just any recreation or special date-night activity, try one that’s been donated by businesses in the auction.
The kind of stuff you can’t get elsewhere is the kind of stuff I love. And since these auction donors were so inclined to give their products or services towards this nonprofit cause, I love their stuff all the more. Not that they aren’t great on their own.
So join us at Let Us Eat Local for the feasting that will ring in another season of that to come. Here’s a discount code for 15% off any number of tickets you purchase: just type ERWAY on the promo code field when purchasing them online. And if you can’t make it to the feast, the auction will benefit the cause as well. Happy bidding!