Refugee dinners and the (RED) Foundation are the main subject of this week’s news. If you’re in L.A., head out to Momed for the month’s last dinner dedicated to refugees from nine countries. June is right around the corner and will be dedicated to fighting AIDS. Several events are planned in New York City and elsewhere throughout the month. Here’s what’s happening this week in food activism.
- Wednesday, May 31 marks the last immigrant-themed dinner at Momed in Los Angeles’ Atwater Village neighborhood. The nine-course menu will highlight dishes from Iran, Turkey, Afghanistan, Syria, Lebanon and Egypt and is part of the LA Times‘ Food Bowl festival. Half of the proceeds will benefit the International Rescue Committee, an organization dedicated to helping refugees.
- This year’s Eat (RED) Save Lives campaign to fight AIDS starts next Thursday. Mario Batali takes the lead in the month-long fundraiser. On June 20, the campaign’s first film festival will screen Sleepless in Seattle and feature picnic baskets curated by Batali, Danny Bowien, Ina Garten and Jean-Georges Vongerichten. Tickets run $100 with all proceeds getting donated to (RED). Meal kit service HelloFresh is also offering limited edition kits designed by Batali, Carla Hall, Emeril Lagasse and Rachael Ray. New subscribers can use the code HELLORED for $20 off their first box and donate $20 to (RED). Luke’s Lobster’s newest location in New York’s Union Square will open on June 1 and will dedicate the month to the campaign by decking the place out in red. Throughout the month, Luke’s will offer costumers the option of donating $1 to (RED), specifically in sub-Saharan Africa, and will match donations. Finally, chef Hugh Acheson will cook a family-style dinner at Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival in Manchester, Tennessee on June 8. Proceeds from these ticket sales will go to the campaign as well. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will be matching all donations throughout the month.
- Starting next Friday, Salt & Straw creamery will be scooping new flavors that were concocted with the help of food scraps saved from local purveyors in Portland, Los Angeles and San Francisco. The flavors will be available all June long.
- Author Neil Gaiman has agreed to perform a live reading of the epic poem-length Cheesecake Factory menu if $510,000 is raised for the United Nations Refugee Agency. Comedian and author Sara Benincasa proposed the idea to Gaiman on Twitter and has since started a crowdfunding page for the effort. The goal is to raise the money by June 20 (which happens to be World Refugee Day) in order to make the reading happen. As of Thursday afternoon, $40,000 had been raised.