Here's Why Everyone's Eating Orange This Month
20-plus restaurants and shops will #EatForOrange to raise hunger awareness in September.
Courtesy of IntoxiKate
The orange-hued Pad Thai at Sambal on the Irvington waterfront
Here’s the awful truth: Roughly 200,000 people in Westchester are food insecure, meaning, on any given day, they struggle to have enough to eat. Another awful truth: Most of us aren’t aware that this is even an issue. After all, we live in one of the nation’s most affluent counties. How can someone be hungry here?
That’s the issue Kate Schlientz, founder of the popular food blog IntoxiKate, was tasked with fixing when she teamed up with the Food Bank for Westchester as a social media ambassador this year. “They started telling me about going orange for the month of September, and I just thought how about we eat for orange,” says Schlientz. “Let’s focus on raising awareness and have this really great conversation on social media.” For the month of September, more than 20 restaurants will feature orange-colored dishes on their menus and ask customers to share the experience on social media with the hashtags #EatingForOrange #IntoxiKate #HungerActionMonth and #FBFW. Participating locations will also promote the campaign on social media, distribute orange bracelet to staff, and provide literature from the Food Bank for Westchester.
Melon and prosciutto salad with heirloom tomatoes and mint at Boro6 Wine Bar in Hastings
“This is the very least we can do to raise awareness at our restaurant,” says Paul Molakides, co-owner at Boro6 Wine Bar in Hastings-on-Hudson, which will serve an orange melon and prosciutto salad with heirloom tomatoes and mint, as part of the initiative. “I was shocked when I saw that figure of 200,000 people who are food insecure. There’s no reason for anyone to go hungry in America, let along in this community.” Several other Rivertowns restaurants are also participating, including Sambal and Chutney Masal in Irvington, Harper’s and Cedar Street Grill in Dobbs Ferry, Baked by Susan in Croton-on-Hudson, and fellow Hastings spot Saint George. (Restaurants are participating across Westchester; find a full list here.)
Related: Hidden Hunger
At Crabtree’s Kittle House in Chappaqua, Chef Jay Lippin is serving seared scallops with carrot gastrique and carrot-top pesto, a dish that showcases the restaurant’s dedication to reducing food waste and food security. “[Eating for Orange] is organic to what we’re already doing,” says Lippin. “It’s something we already embrace and, if what Katie’s doing with the program helps people be aware of what’s happening in Westchester, it’s a great opportunity for everyone.”
Crabtree Kittle House’s scallops with carrot gastrique and carrot-top pesto
For Schlientz, putting restaurants at the forefront of Hunger Action Month also illustrates the way food banks have changed. “You’re not just raiding your pantry and throwing canned food in a box anymore,” she explains, adding that local food pantries put real emphasis on eating nutritiously. “I’ve lived in Westchester for almost 15 years and I had no idea this was an issue. This month is really focused on hunger awareness and creating a dialogue. What better way to [do that] than over great food?”