Dine and Donate: How Eating Out Can Be Activism in the Bay Area
Earlier this year, multiple states passed laws that create strict restrictions on abortions; just this past month, Planned Parenthood and the ACLU sued Missouri over the state’s eight-week abortion ban, which would take effect at on Aug. 28. California protects most abortions, but, like famed filmmaker Ava Duvernay said, “It’s Alabama and abortion today. It’s you and your rights tomorrow. Your silence will not save you. So speak up.” group of women in the Bay Area food and beverage industries decided to speak up by asking you to dine out.
Christa Chase, Emily Hayward and Zeina Razek formed the Bay Area Fight for Abortion Rights (BAFAR) earlier this year, to “unite in solidarity with communities across the country to protect and fight for abortion rights.”
The looming laws in Alabama (a near-total abortion ban), Georgia, Ohio, Kentucky, Mississippi and Louisiana initially ignited fear and fury among the three organizers, but the trio wanted to channel their energies into something productive. With BAFAR, “we’re fighting to protect reproductive healthcare and access to safe and legal abortions,” says Hayward. “We have all been personally affected by this issue in one way or another, and we were angry and frustrated by the continued politicization and policing of women’s bodies.”
Chase is the executive chef at San Francisco’s Tartine Manufactory, where Razek was once a sous chef, and Hayward is the Assistant General Manager at Rivoli & Corso Restaurants in Berkeley. As restaurant industry veterans, the three have also experienced a culture of misogyny firsthand. The Bay Area would turn up once a call went out, they believed; they went all in on BAFAR confident their community and the people they’ve served over the years would prove them right.
On Aug. 1, diners are invited to join BAFAR to #AbortTheBan by dining at partner restaurants—a percentage of each venue’s proceeds will go directly to Planned Parenthood.
BAFAR’s original goal was to enlist 80 restaurants and bars, and, at the time of this post, they had 70 on board. From San Francisco to San Ramon, there are some big names on the list, such as AL’s Place, Nyum Bai, The Slanted Door and Che Fico. Some restaurants like Kantine and Tartine Manufactory are offering a special tasting menu, and others have drink specials or exclusive dishes to raise money.
During outreach, a number of local purveyors also jumped on board to offer up goods and services. Those donations will be raffled off at the afterparty at Roses’ Taproom, starting at 4pm. Show up with a receipt from a partnering restaurant and gets you five free raffle tickets.
Merchandise created by Canary Marketing and graphic designer Carol Kammer will be available for purchase until Aug. 15, and donations are being accepted through the project’s Crowdrise campaign.
Their goal is $40,000, but the organizers say pulling everything together over the past two months has been rewarding in itself.
“We’re feeling really excited, feeling pretty emotional,” says Hayward. “It’s a culmination of a lot of work, a lot of hours, and a lot of energy. And the outpouring of support has been truly humbling and really exciting.”