Today’s Solutions: November 26, 2022

The pandemic has put pressure on restaurants across the country. Despite potentially having to close down their restaurants due to loss of revenue, two New York chefs, Jeremiah Stone and Fabián von Hauske, are stepping up to donate their profits to organizations for racial justice. 

The two chefs own Wildair, Contra, and Peoples Wine in New York. They donated all weekend sales from their restaurants to the Minnesota Freedom Fund, which helps those who’ve been arrested post bail and Reclaim the Block, a Minneapolis-based organization focused on decreasing funding towards police and increasing community-based safety measures.

The pair gave away all the money that came in except what was needed to pay delivery and food costs. At the end of the weekend, they had raised $20,000 in total. The wine shop even saw double the sales after the chefs advertised their campaign on social media. 

Bon Appétit spoke to Jeremiah Stone about the initiative; here’s what he had to say. 

“I’m a cook. It’s what I’ve been doing for the last 16 years, and it’s all I know. I didn’t even go to college. I don’t feel like I’m the person to affect policy change or something like that. But I know I can make food. I know we can control the money we make from that food and have it go to people who need it,” said Stone. 

The financial contribution from the pair is significant, but Stone says it’s not about the money. The focus of the decision was to bring attention and awareness to racial injustice. Money was just the vehicle. 

The future of the restaurant industry is so uncertain, but racial justice is an immediate and critical issue. Stone says if this is the last thing his restaurant can do before closing shop, at least their actions will be meaningful.

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