Photo: Aaron of L.A. Photography/Shutterstock

Restaurants and Chefs Come Together to Feed Black Lives Matter Demonstrators

Restaurants + Bars Food + Drink Activism
by Elisabeth Sherman Jun 3, 2020

In the aftermath of the death of George Floyd, a black man allegedly murdered after a police officer knelt on his neck for eight minutes after arresting him for (again allegedly) using a counterfeit $20 bill, the entire country rose up to protest police brutality. These demonstrations in support of the Black Lives Matter movement have been peaceful, though some agitation has led to looting and the arrest of around 9,000 people. Many restaurants around the country have voiced their support for protests against the death of George Floyd, and now efforts are popping up around the country to feed protestors.

In Oakland, Black Earth Farms, which describes itself as a “pan African & pan Indigenous farming collective,” has partnered with Raised Roots, a “black-owned urban farming company,” to provide meals to protestors. In an Instagram post, Black Earth Farms wrote that it will deliver food to any black protestors in the area who have been injured, arrested, or bailed out in the course of the demonstrations, which have been ongoing in California since Sunday.

In a subsequent post, Raised Roots wrote that it aims to “distribute free prepared meals to people who need it.” The organization said that it is currently looking for donations and resources, including commercial kitchen access and cold storage but hopes that meal preparation will begin on June 3.

Elsewhere in the United States, the New York Times reports that Maria Acosta, the owner of several McDonald’s franchises in Texas, fed protestors who returned to San Antonio to clean up the damage done during demonstrations, which turned violent. Acosta, along with volunteers, packed “800 meals of chicken nuggets, cheeseburgers and apples,” as crews swept glass and scrubbed graffiti.

Meanwhile, in Minneapolis, Pimento Jamaican Kitchen handed out bags packed with essential items for marchers, including face masks and gauze. Vice News reporter Elizabeth Landers spotted chef and humanitarian José Andrés at a demonstration in Washington DC on Tuesday, where she reports that he was handing out food to his fellow marchers. Subsequent replies to her post from World Central Kitchen CEO Nate Mook imply that the organization will soon be setting up in George Floyd’s home state of Minneapolis, where protesting has been among the most intense in the country.

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