Eat This List: 8 ways food can help after heartache
May 21st, 2013
04:45 PM ET
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This is the thirteenth installment of "Eat This List" - a regularly recurring list of things chefs, farmers, writers and other food experts think you ought to know about.

Everybody eats. We may all come from different places, belief systems, political affiliations and football divisions, but at least once a day, every last one of us puts food into our bodies to fuel us for the road ahead.

We also all suffer loss, both on a global scale and in the gut. At times like these, eating might seem like the least important, most impossible task on the planet, but it can feed so much more than the stomach.

A shared meal, a dropped-off plate of cookies or a raised glass can add a much-needed note of normalcy in an overwhelming time. As groups like Operation BBQ Relief and Team Rubicon speed toward Moore, Oklahoma to feed and assist tornado victims, here are eight stories of times when food helped people find a little bit of respite in a world turned upside town.
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Serving up comfort food after a tragedy
April 18th, 2013
03:30 PM ET
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Chefs with Issues is a platform for chefs and farmers we love, fired up for causes about which they're passionate. Jason Bond is the chef at Bondir in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Follow him on Twitter @jwadebond.

The day started with the Boston Marathon and a state holiday. It ended in tragedy and left residents, like me, with so many unanswered questions.

Why would someone attack an event that was about celebration, one where many of the thousands of participants were raising money for over two thousand charities? Why would they use such a ferocious method as bombs packed with ball bearings and nails?

In the span of 15 seconds, three people lost their lives. Hundreds of others, from the injured and their families to those who witnessed the blast firsthand, were cruelly ripped from the lives they'd always known and forced into a darker view of the world. The residents of Boston were shocked, sickened and even pissed off.

Most of us felt helpless, but wanted to be of use. The city and its people quickly mobilized to help each other. Boston is tight and takes care of its own.

We realized that we each help by doing what we do; medics medicate, journalists report, the police protect. As a restaurateur I did what I do, which is care for people and provide sustenance and healing.
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Filed under: Boston • Chefs • Chefs with Issues • Culture • Feed the Soul • Restaurant News • Restaurants • Rituals • Travel


Bringing healing to Newtown, one pie at a time
December 19th, 2012
10:30 AM ET
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Beth Howard pulled up to Newtown in her 24-foot-long camper, loaded with 240 apple pies.

She dished out pie to kids from Sandy Hook Elementary School, grieving parents and anyone who asked.

She describes herself as an attaché for grief, with her greatest gift being pie “made from love.” Most people simply call her "the pie lady."

“Pie is meant to be shared,” she said. “It’s meant to be given away.”

As she spoke, there was a knock on her door. Women preparing a wake for one of the slain girls would like some pie for mourners.
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Filed under: Dishes • Feed the Soul • Local Heroes • News • Nostalgia • Pie • Think


November 12th, 2012
12:45 PM ET
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When the floodwaters began to lap at his hip, Rahmell Ortiz's stubbornness finally buckled. He ran for his life, unsure of where he was going, or what had become of the other 6350 residents of Brooklyn's Red Hook Houses. Ortiz knew only that the Superstorm Sandy was showing no signs of mercy, and that his friend Horace Jackson, who had been banging at his door, wasn't taking no for an answer.

11 days, and a terrifying chest-high wade later, the two men stood in line for a free twice-daily meal dished out by volunteer-manned tables and trucks stationed outside the Calvary Baptist Church of Red Hook. It was by both men's accounts, the highlight of the day for local residents, many of whom still were living without power, heat or any idea when either might return, due to extensive saltwater damage in the basements of the 33 buildings that make up Brooklyn's largest public housing development.
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Filed under: Charity • Disaster • Feed the Soul • Flood • Hurricane


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