In the next 12 months, Rogue Food Unites plans to serve 1,281,000 meals to community members impacted by the fires

Southern Oregon is in the midst of a crisis bore from fire. The Almeda/Glenview Fire burned over 2,400 homes leaving more than 4000 people suddenly homeless and 42,000 displaced. Rogue Food Unites and our community of restaurants and food growers is responding. Rogue Food Unites collaborates with food businesses, farms, and local aid organizations to meet the acute demand for regional support with a community-driven meal preparation and delivery program. Meals prepared with ingredients from local farms by local restaurants and delivered to Southern Oregon locations where residents displaced by the Almeda/Glendower fire receive the food they need. Breakfast. Lunch. Dinner.

When the local economy in the Rogue Valley is already struggling due to the pandemic, every dollar invested in Rogue Food Unites ensures that local restaurant workers keep working, local farmers keep farming, and displaced residents impacted by the fires are supported nutritionally and emotionally through food. Rogue Food Unites pays locally-owned restaurants to prepare the food and coordinates participating farms to provide fresh, flavorful, local ingredients. As a result, our vibrant regional food system stays healthy and intact. Restaurants remain in business and can pay their staff, rent, and do what they do best: feed hungry people.

With each new donation and investment into Rogue Food Unites, the number of people we can reach grows daily. With every new restaurant or farm that signs on, we find a new well of untapped community strength and resiliency.

Nearly 65% of the revenue from local independent restaurants recirculates in the local economy compared to about 30% for chain restaurants. 

Restaurants generate middle-class jobs at a rate three times faster than the economy.

Restaurants support bakers, fishers, butchers, and, of course, Oregon’s 34,250 small farms.

Funding will propel the restaurant industry’s existing systems to administer support across the many concomitant businesses that rely upon them to stay afloat. While meeting the fundamental need for food for those impacted by the Almeda Fire, we strengthen our local economy and foster collaboration, resilience, and food sovereignty in our valley.

Over half of all restaurant workers are women, and restaurants employ over one million single mothers.

Sixty percent of all chefs nationwide are minorities.

Restaurants employ more minority employee-managers than any other industry.

Food and agricultural businesses are hubs of minority employment and advancement. Our local Latinx population, disproportionately impacted by the Almeda Fire, provides essential services as owners and employees in our agricultural and foodservice industries. Amidst the destruction and disruption of both the fires and the pandemic, there is an economic incentive for the food community to work together across socioeconomic lines to keep our community afloat. Restaurants and farms are perfectly poised to do this with their diverse staffs and shared goals of working hard to feed people and pay the bills. 

In Talent and Phoenix, the restaurants lost were community hubs and loved eateries, like Daddy Ramen and La Tapatia. Rogue Food Unites is working to secure satellite kitchens for these staff to get back to work as soon as they are able, continue to be paid for their fantastic food, and contribute to the healing and rebuilding of their communities. Our growing list of participating restaurants represents the cultural diversity in our valley. It includes Arbor House, Bambu, Breadboard, Common Block, El Comal, El Tapatio, Falafel Republic, Loncheria Las Reyes Food Truck, Masala, Mezcal, Mix, Sammich, and many more.  To see the entire list of collaborating restaurants or to join, please do go www.roguefoodunites.org. 

The immensity of the efforts across all communities in responding to this crisis is nothing short of extraordinary. At a time when our human connections have been strained through pandemic isolation, it has been overwhelming and inspirational to be amidst the swirl of collaboration between so many invested local organizations. Our efforts would not be possible without the close alignment with the Ashland Bike Brigade, Ashland Emergency Food Bank, Rogue Action Center, Southern Oregon Coalition for Racial Equity, Talent Maker City, and more. Again, please visit our website to read more about the collaborative organizations making this local response successful.

Straight Up

In the next 12 months, we plan to serve 1,281,000 meals to community members impacted by the Almeda Fire. Meeting this essential demand will inject $12.7m into our economy, enabling the recirculation of nearly $8.3m within our local economy through locally-owned businesses and community hubs. 

Support our neighborhood restaurants and our friends and families who need food by DONATING NOW at www.roguefoodunites.org

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