Food Community Comes Together to Support North Bay Fire Relief | CUESA

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October 13, 2017

Food Community Comes Together to Support North Bay Fire Relief

As fires continue to devastate the North Bay, our hearts are heavy for our community members who have lost their homes, farms, and vineyards. Thank you to the farmers, chefs, and others who have rallied to provide relief for those in need. We’re eternally grateful to our generous community for the many ways we support each other in times of need.

The Ferry Plaza Farmers Market and Jack London Square Farmers Market will be open this weekend. Most of our market community will be present, and they rely on the farmers market as a vital part of their livelihoods. That said, we want all of our visitors, sellers, farmers, volunteers, and staff to be safe. Please exercise caution venturing outside, and take precautions such as limiting your exertion and wearing a protective (N95) mask. Those with sensitive respiratory systems should stay indoors. You can check for updates on air quality here.

We believe that coming together as a community to feed and care for each other is more important than ever. At the farmers market, we’ve been working this week to enable farmers' donations of fruits and vegetables for relief efforts. CUESA will also be donating a portion of the proceeds from our Sunday Supper: A Farm to City Feast this Sunday to Redwood Empire Food Bank. We are committed to ongoing support for our farmers and community members who have been impacted.

As we pray for everyone's safety and an end to the fires, we’ve gathered some updates from our community, along with ways you can give support and get involved.

Updates from Our Market Community

A number of our farms and business owners in the Sonoma, Santa Rosa, and Napa areas have been impacted, but thankfully they are safe. A smoky haze has settled over the North Bay and Bay Area, making it difficult for workers to get in to the field to harvest. Tierra Vegetables in Santa Rosa had to evacuate their property, but the Jameses have since been able to return to the farm and are anxious to get back to the farmers market this week. Others have evacuated and are waiting to find out the fate of their homes and businesses, while still others are standing by to see whether they may need to take shelter.

 

 

We're okay, My prayers go out to all of our neighbors and friends who have lost so much.

A post shared by Tierra Vegetables (@tierra_vegetables) on

 

Recovery Fund for The Farmer's Wife

Some were not so fortunate. Kendra and Paul Kolling, of The Farmer’s Wife and Nana Mae’s Organics, and their three children lost their home in the fires, after quickly evacuating at 12:15 am on Monday morning. You can contribute directly to their family’s recovery here, and support their stand at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market. Kendra plans to be at the farmers market tomorrow.

Restaurants Join the Relief Efforts

The restaurant community has also stepped up to help. Pizza Politana, based in Petaluma, had employees who lost homes. They rallied their community to bake free pizza for evacuees and have been working with local chefs to coordinate food dropoffs at evacuation centers.

Many of San Francisco’s restaurants have also been supporting the fire victims by organizing donation drop-off points and fundraisers for our neighbors in the North Bay. Chef Rachel Aronow of The Alembic, who grew up near Santa Rosa and lost her family farm, has been tirelessly working to bring food and supplies to people in need. Our Ferry Plaza farmers have been donating produce to relief efforts.

How You Can Help

With untold losses and fires still burning, the North Bay is in a state of emergency, and relief efforts will be ongoing in the weeks and months ahead. Here are a few ways to get involved by donating and volunteering. You can find a more comprehensive list of resources at KQED, Eater, and American Farmland Trust.

Redwood Empire Food Bank

Founded in 1987, REFB is the largest hunger-relief organization serving north coastal California, from Sonoma County to the Oregon border. They are currently providing critical food to shelters for our neighbors displaced by fires. They are in need of financial support as well as ready-to-eat, non-perishable foods to provide to evacuation centers.

The Ceres Community Project

Serving Marin and Sonoma Counties, the Ceres Community Project supports primarily low-income people struggling because of a serious health challenge with free and low-cost, home-delivered, nourishing organic meals, nutrition education and the caring support of the community. Ceres is providing meals for fire evacuees at local shelters.

Redwood Credit Union North Bay Fire Relief

Redwood Credit Union (RCU), in partnership with the RCU Community Fund, Inc., The Press Democrat, and Senator Mike McGuire, is now accepting financial donations to assist fire victims and aid relief efforts. 100% of your tax-deductible donations will go directly to support those affected.

North Bay Fire Recovery Fund

The Farmers Guild, the Community Alliance with Family Farmers, and several other organizations have set up a North Bay Fire Recovery Fund to help farmers, farmworkers, and families recover, and to support grassroots initiatives that build resilience in the face of future catastrophe.

SF Fights Fire

A number of prominent Bay Area chefs have launched an effort to prepare and deliver healthy meals to people in need at relief centers throughout Sonoma and Napa County. They’re looking for food donations as well as volunteer support.

Please stay tuned for updates and additional opportunities to contribute to community efforts.

About CUESA

CUESA (Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture) is dedicated to cultivating a sustainable food system through the operation of farmers markets and educational programs. Learn More »