'Harlem Serves Up!': Celebrity chefs help raise $200,000

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Monday, July 27, 2020
Harlem Serves Up; Watch it on abc7NY
Chefs and restauranteurs headlline a fundraiser special - "Harlem Serves Up!" Seen on abc7NY.com, it supports the community by fighting food insecurity.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Chefs and restaurateurs headlined a one-hour fundraiser special entitled "Harlem Serves Up!" supported by Humana, which aired on WABC-TV Channel 7 at 7 p.m. Saturday, July 18, from executive producers Marcus Samuelsson and Herb Karlitz.

Participants included Mashama Bailey, Aliyyah Baylor, Adrienne Cheatham, Nina Compton, Charles Gabriel, Carla Hall, Kwame Onwuachi, Melba Wilson, Tren'ness Woods-Black, Skai Young and Raymond Zamanta Mohan, with $200,000 raised.

"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, co-founder of the festival, who also participated in the program.

"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," said Karlitz, co-founder of "Harlem EatUp!"

Celebrity chefs who have participated in Harlem EatUp! in past years again took part, such as Daniel Boulud, Anne Burrell, Scott Conant, Bobby Flay, Emeril Lagasse and Andrew Zimmern, as well as the founder of charitable beneficiary, World Central Kitchen, José Andrés.

Performers and other notables included talk show host Tamron Hall and WABC-TV anchor Sandra Bookman, who will co-host; along with former President Bill Clinton, Kurtis Blow, Common, Sheila E, Doug E Fresh, Kevin Liles, Ralph McDaniels, D-Nice, Dascha Polanco, MJ Rodriguez, Bevy Smith, Trey Songz, Justin Tuck, Mary Wilson, Deborah Joy Winans, and more.

Proceeds raised from the show will benefit Citymeals, World Central Kitchen, Harlem Park to Park and Uptown Grand Central.

"This incredible evening would not be possible without our program's supporters, including Humana, Barilla, and Con Edison among others," shared Karlitz.

"We're thrilled to be a part of a program that supports the Harlem community. We want to do our part so we're matching donations up to $250,000.00 to address food insecurity," added Julie Mascari, Humana's Regional President of the Northeast.

"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. 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," Regina Smith, CEO of Harlem Business Alliance.

"Within the one hour show, we're bringing you incredible cooking demos, musical performances, and into Harlem restaurant destinations like LoLo's Seafood Shack, Charles' Pan Fried Chicken, Miss Mamie's Spoonbread Too and Settepani to hear firsthand how they have been affected by the pandemic and how viewers can help support them in these trying times," said Melba Wilson, of Melba's Restaurant and President of NYC Hospitality Alliance.

To find out more and to donate, visit HarlemServesUp.com