Loretta Restaurant in Newburyport, MA will kick off a week long benefit for RAIN on August 28th.
With the growing drought and hunger crisis sweeping West Africa, an estimated 18 million people – of whom over 2 million are children under 5 – are at severe risk of malnutrition and starvation. The United Nations is calling for comprehensive, rapid assistance to the millions of people affected. Newburyport’s own Loretta Restaurant has answered the call to think globally and act locally.
During the week of August 26 – September 1, Loretta will donate 5 percent of all lunch and dinner sales to Rain for the Sahel and Sahara (RAIN), an international nonprofit organization based in the Seacoast region of New Hampshire. RAIN’s mission is to work with nomadic peoples of West Africa to improve their lives through education, water security, agriculture, and income-producing activities to address the food crisis in a lasting way.
In addition, Loretta is hosting a special Open House on Tuesday, August 28 from 4:30-7 p.m. The fundraiser, open to the public, will feature African music, special $5 appetizers, jewelry and artisan goods handcrafted by nomadic people in Niger. Collection containers for Niger Hunger Relief will be available at the bar, and patrons can donate additional funds to the cause when paying their checks.
“I feel very blessed to live here, to have so much available to me,” said Loretta owner Ted Epstein. “Hunger is something so elemental and I was compelled to help the people of Niger. The time of need is now. By helping to provide gardens, animal feed stores, school lunch programs and women’s artisan cooperatives, we can empower families to achieve long-term freedom from hunger. ”
Due to the unprecedented food crisis in West Africa, RAIN is committed to raising $50,000 by the end of September 2012 to bring immediate relief to the people of Niger, while continuing to work on long-term programming solutions. “I encourage everyone to dine out at Loretta to help this cause, said Bess Palmiscano, executive director of RAIN. “ Every bit helps in our effort to ensure that the people in Niger have access to the food they need, every day.”
For the past ten years, RAIN has worked with Tuareg, Wodaabe and other nomadic peoples on locally rooted programs to promote literacy and empowerment while sustaining nomadic traditions. It provides food aid in the form of school food programs and animal feed to herders whose present and future food security depend upon their herds of goats, sheep and camels. RAIN’s agriculture and water programs address the long-term need for irrigated farming and diversified food sources to allay the effects of the Sahel’s recurring droughts. The video From a Deep Well tells the story of RAIN and its programs.
Open for lunch, dinner and weekend brunch, Loretta has 47 seats and offers convenient online ordering for take-out food. The restaurant regularly participates in charitable projects supporting the greater Newburyport community.
Located at 27 State Street in Newburyport, MA, Loretta offers regional American fare in a comfortable, inviting setting. Owner Ted Epstein brings his mission of great fresh food at reasonable prices to the North Shore. With daily menu changes, Loretta has a flair for seasonal, local, and diverse dishes – from all natural burgers and in-house smoked pulled pork to fresh seafood and ethnic cuisine thoughtfully prepared. Loretta is the place for those seeking top-notch service and great food made from the freshest ingredients. For more information, visit www.lorettarestaurant.com, and become a fan on the Loretta Facebook Page.
RAIN partners with nomadic peoples of West Africa to improve their lives through education, agriculture, and income-producing activities. These locally rooted programs promote literacy and empowerment while sustaining nomadic traditions throughout the Sahel and Sahara. To donate and learn more, visit: www.rain4sahara.org.