Marcus Samuelsson is Re-Building Communities in Harlem and Beyond

Marcus Samuelsson visits SiriusXM Studios on February 26, 2020 in New York City. (Getty Images)

Tadias Magazine

By Tadias Staff

Updated: May 30th, 2020

Marcus Samuelsson is Re-Building Communities With Epic Harlem EatUp! and World Central Kitchen Collaboration

New York (TADIAS) – From day one of this global health crisis — that has so far claimed more than 100,000 American lives — Ethiopian American chef, entrepreneur, author, and community leader Marcus Samuelsson has been at the forefront of the fight against COVID-19 in his home neighborhood of Harlem and beyond.

Shortly after NYC’s lockdown in March Marcus wrote an OP-ED on CNN.com titled “We Need Seismic Change, Right Now” urging for an immediate economic relief for food industry workers and business owners. Months later his words continue to reverberate across sectors at a magnitude that few truly imagined.

This week Marcus announced that the annual Harlem EatUp! festival, which would have attracted thousands of people at this time of the year, was being used “to support World Central Kitchen’s Restaurants for the People effort to keep local, independent restaurants open and working so they can provide nourishing meals for people in need in their communities.”

The annual Harlem EatUp! Festival was launched six years ago to “celebrate the food, culture and spirit of Harlem” by Marcus Samuelsson and Herb Karlitz. Each year it “brings together not only restaurants but also a wide array of small businesses, musicians, and artists within the community.”

In a statement Marcus Samuelsson shared that: “Almost two months ago, we started distributing meals with WCK at Red Rooster Harlem. Since then we’ve expanded to Red Rooster Overtown in Miami and helped pilot Newark Working Kitchens with Marcus B&P, serving over 60,000 meals to people in need at these locations. This is the next phase of showing how activating restaurants in economically disadvantaged areas can do three essential things: provide meals for the food insecure; provide income for local employees who are bravely helping feed the needy and finally to multiply the economic effects in these neighborhoods through the spending of re-hired workers.”

According to the press release:

“Restaurants directly employ over 15.6 million people across the country and contribute $1 trillion to the economy, and are a major employer in Harlem. Losing restaurants impacts jobs not only in these establishments, but also the farmers, packers, fisherman, delivery people and more — all who depend on the continued revenue of restaurants to stay in business and maintain fragile supply lines.”

The press release adds: “To date, HEU has already helped solicit over $1.5 million in donations to WCK for this effort,” states the press release. “Additionally, our founding festival sponsor Citi is also supporting World Central Kitchen in Harlem as part of a national partnership with WCK of up to $2.5 million.”

Read more about current Harlem EatUp! efforts at www.harlemeatup.com.

Related:

Marcus Samuelsson Pivots Harlem Eat Up! Festival Into Community Kitchen (Forbes)

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