Televised Harlem Fundraiser to Fight Food Insecurity and Support Local Businesses
Six years ago, Marcus Samuelsson and Herb Karlitz founded Harlem EatUp!, a festival designed to celebrate Harlem's small businesses, restaurants, and residents. The event was canceled this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, but a new televised fundraiser will carry on its spirit and raise money for those who've been hit hardest.
Harlem Serves Up! supported by Humana will air on July 18 at 7 p.m. on ABC7 New York, featuring appearances from chefs like Mashama Bailey, Adrienne Cheatham, Nina Compton, Carla Hall, Kwame Onwuachi, Daniel Boulud, Emeril Lagasse, and more food personalities. Talk show host Tamron Hall and news anchor Sandra Bookman are co-hosting, and Nick Cannon is slated to make an appearance, as well as other performers.
Proceeds raised from the show will benefit Citymeals, World Central Kitchen, Harlem Park to Park, and Uptown Grand Central.
“Six years ago, we created Harlem EatUp!, a festival which shined a spotlight on an iconic community, its residents, small businesses and restaurants,” said Samuelsson in a statement.
“This year, given the pandemic and its disproportionate impact on communities of color, we repurposed our efforts to create this television and online fundraiser, to promote businesses in Harlem and to raise money for non-profits that serve Harlem, its residents in need, its businesses and the city of New York,” added Karlitz.
The one-hour show will feature cooking demos, musical performances, and spotlights on Harlem restaurant owners who are navigating the pandemic.
"Lacking access to capital and critical business networks Black businesses were struggling to survive prior to the pandemic. Federal small business stimulus funding, the Payroll Protection Program (PPP), failed to reach many Harlem businesses," said Regina Smith, CEO of Harlem Business Alliance. "Those few businesses that received PPP funds found it woefully inadequate and the conditions for loan forgiveness difficult to meet. With a forecasted closure rate of 40% for Black owned businesses, we must do everything we can to save the precious few survivors."
To donate, visit www.HarlemServesUp.com.