ABOUT US (Copy)

The Almeda/Glendower Fire Crisis Current Estimates:

42,000

people displaced

2,400+

homes burned

 

4,000

suddenly homeless with an immediate need for shelter and food

 

70%

At some local schools, nearly 70% of families have lost their homes.

Rogue Food Unites

Rogue Food Unites is coordinating food businesses, farms, and cultural 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 are delivered to locations in Southern Oregon where residents displaced by the Almeda and Glendower fires receive the food they need. Breakfast. Lunch. Dinner. 

At a time 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 all participating farms to provide fresh, flavorful, local ingredients to restaurants who are paid to prepare the food. As a result, our vibrant regional food system stays strong and intact. Restaurants stay in business and are able to pay their staff, their rent, and do what they do best: feed hungry people.

Keep our restaurants humming and our communities fed by DONATING NOW through the United Way.

Hear the Call

Rogue Food Unites is working with the American Red Cross and other aid organizations, churches, shelters, public schools, and community leaders to identify where impacted residents can receive food. We can immediately reach over a thousand people who need our consistent support with meals. 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.

Rogue Food Unites is already serving hundreds of daily meals with the financial assistance of local and international organizations. World Central Kitchen, Chef José Andrés’s relief aid organization, has stepped up to provide funds for the initiation of our meal service. The United Way of Jackson County has committed to providing us with fiscal sponsorship. We are seeking donations from national foodservice companies already invested in our communities, like Sodexo, Sysco, US Foods, Food Services of America, and OGC (Organically Grown Co.), further maximizing the cycling of funds through restaurants and our local economy. 

Support neighborhood restaurants and our friends and families who need food by DONATING NOW through the United Way.

Step Up and Deliver

  • Since the beginning of March, the leisure and hospitality industry has accounted for 40% of all jobs lost in Oregon.

  • Over 75% of Oregon’s 10,456 eating and drinking locations are in danger of closing permanently.

  • 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, fishermen, butchers, and, of course, Oregon’s 34,250 small farms.

  • A 2010 USDA study compared producers selling salad mix, blueberries, milk, beef, and apples locally. “In all five cases, nearly all of the wage and proprietor income earned in the local market chains is retained in the local economy.” (King et al.)

Food workers are already struggling with lost jobs or decreased work hours due to COVID. Nearly two-thirds of Oregon restaurants and food service are at risk of closing. These essential services need our support now more than ever. Restaurants are uniquely equipped to meet the demands of COVID-safe, ready-to-go meals delivered to pickup locations while maximizing local sourcing and minimizing food waste. Participating restaurants with Rogue Food Unites are paired with fire-impacted populations in their community needing food support, allowing these small businesses to maintain their agency while cooking for their community.

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 of food for those impacted by the Almeda Fire, we are strengthening our local economy and fostering collaboration, resilience, and food sovereignty in our valley. 

Everyone at the Table

  • 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, provide essential services as owners and employees in our agricultural and food service 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. Restaurants, farms, and food processors in the Rogue Food Unites network will reflect the diversity of our valley, with an inclusive focus on female and BIPOC owned businesses.

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. 


Initial List of Participating Restaurants

Amuse Larks

Arbor House Loncheria Las Reyes

Belle Fiore       Luna

Brickroom Masala

Buttercloud Mix

Curbside King Pie and Vine

Common Block Pump House  

Daddy Ramen Prickly Pear

El Comal Sammich

El Tapatio Sesame

Falafel Republic Sultan’s Delight

Flip   Taqueria Picaro

La Tapatia   Xilakil Latin Fusion

Hither

Collaborating Organizations.

Ashland Bike Brigade   SO Health-E

Ashland Emergency Food Bank SOEquity

Ashland Food Co-op   Talent Maker City

Ashland Wine Cellar United Way

American Red Cross Upper Five Vineyard

Casa Bruno Wines World Central Kitchen

Kids Unlimited  

Neuman Hotel Group

Oregon Shakespeare Festival

Operation BBQ Relief

Rogue Action Center

Rogue Climate

Rogue Creamery

Siskiyou Rising Tide


Collaborators

Adam Danforth
is a James Beard award-winning author, butcher, and food activist who teaches and works internationally to build strong communities through good food. His collaborations include Google, the James Beard Foundation, Stone Barns Center for Agriculture, Jose Andres’s Think Food Group, Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group, and Eleven Madison Park. He sits on the board of the Chefs Collaborative and the Good Meat Project and serves as the American ambassador for the Butchers Manifesto. Adam lives in Ashland, Oregon.

Amber Ferguson
has dedicated her career to hospitality and efficiency. A self-proclaimed ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ hustler, she’s apt to say yes and will always show up. Born and raised in the Rogue Valley, she’s streamlined service systems in some of Oregon’s top restaurants, including Beast, Toro Bravo, Grand Central Bakery, and Coquina. Currently, she pushes Sammich restaurant in Ashland towards inevitable glory and is a rep for Casa Bruno Wines.

Sheila Foster
is the Executive Director of Rogue Valley Farm to School (RVF2S), a nonprofit dedicated to connecting farms to schools in order to provide access to healthier food for all children and support a stronger local economy. As the Procurement and Education hub for Jackson and Josephine county, RVF2S brings together school districts and food producers from both counties as part of the statewide farm to school effort. Sheila has nearly 20 years of fundraising and nonprofit leadership experience, is a Certified Fund Raising Executive, and has lived in the Rogue Valley for more than a decade.

Melissa McMillan
is the owner of Ashland-based Sammich and Portland-based Sammich Portland and Pastrami Zombie food truck. Mel’s media presence for Ashland casts a wide net, having been featured on Guy Fieri’s “Diners, Drive-ins and Dives”, and “Guy’s Grocery Games”, as well as Food Network’s “Chopped”, “Food Truck Nation”, and Travel Channel’s “Food Paradise.” Her love and dedication to fostering strong communities run deep — she’s been an Ashland baseball coach for 15 years and has supported COVID food relief programs throughout the Portland region since the onset of the pandemic.

Jamie North
is a community builder and third-generation restaurateur in the Rogue Valley. After cooking at The French Laundry, North followed her deep roots back to Oregon where she opened her cornerstone spot, Mix, which, upon opening in 2006, transformed the cafe scene in Ashland. Since then, her businesses have included Amuse, Remix, and Flip. Throughout her twenty years in hospitality, Jamie has been an advocate for sustainable careers in the industry, promoting equity and livable wages through her businesses. She is the mother of two.

Davis Wilkins
has been caring for seriously ill patients in hospitals & homes across the Rogue Valley for the past decade and is a champion of access to hospice & palliative care for all, helping raise $5million as the Campaign chair for Celia’s House Hospice in Holmes Park in Medford.  She is a writer, TedX speaker, and tireless community advocate as President of the Board for The Hearth Storytelling Project, which seeks to address injustice and inspire compassionate action through the sharing of personal stories.


Sources

Oregon economic restaurant information from the Independent Restaurant Coalition View: here and here

King, Robert P., et al. “Comparing the Structure, Size, and Performance of Local and Mainstream Food Supply Chains.” US Department of Agriculture, ERS, June 2010. View: here