Our Vision and How We Will Use These Funds
Our vision is to establish a pay-as-you-can restaurant and/or food truck that will allow community members to access healthy organic food with dignity. Under the pay-as-you-can model, there are no fixed prices: customers can contribute a suggested donation or volunteer their time in exchange for a meal. Some people will pay more than the suggested donation knowing that doing so helps to cover people who can't afford to pay. Those who can't afford to pay can also volunteer their time to offset the cost of a meal. This model has already been applied successfully at Jon Bon Jovi's Soul Kitchen in New Jersey, as well as at over 30 restaurants and cafes within the One World Everybody Eats network including Panera Bread.
The start-up costs associated with a project like ours are significant. We have had a huge outpouring of support from all over New York, the country and right here in Rockaway. We are confident that with the help of the Kickstarter community, we can come together and continue to support the community of Rockaway. We will apply a portion of the funds raised on Kickstarter towards initial capital costs such as purchasing a brick-and-mortar kitchen space or a mobile kitchen depending on the amount raised. Purchase of a food truck alone can be as much as $45,000, equipping the truck to be up to code can cost as much as $60,000. Other costs include ensuring a living wage for kitchen managers who are residents of the Rockaways and can help coordinate volunteers. Additional costs include permit fees, insurance, and costs of raw ingredients. A mobile food handler's permit costs $100 per person and all the types of insurance required can cost up to $10,000 per year.
The founders of Shore Fruit who are residents of Rockaway responded immediately to the devastation caused by Sandy forming the Rockaway Rescue Alliance and establishing a community-based food relief initiative, The Shore Soup Project. Shore Soup fed an average of 800 people a day during the four months following the storm.
We began by feeding people from our tricycle delivery cart. We then expanded to a distribution center, which we set up on Beach 59th Street. We realized this was still not enough so we moved into a kitchen space where more volunteers could work with us. Once we moved into our kitchen, we began making door-to-door deliveries by bicycle and tricycle cart.
Grow NYC, the network of New York City farmers markets and many other farm groups and individuals, donated fresh produce, which enabled us to sustain our efforts.
Over 400 volunteers have come to donate their time, including local artists, Rockaway residents, and people from all over the Tri-State area. People from as far as Lebanon and Ireland and as close as our next door neighbors have all spent time at the kitchen and on deliveries.
What we've heard from recipients of our soups is that not only do they enjoy the healthy, slow-cooked meals, fruit, and fresh salad, they also appreciate that the food comes from caring people just like them, not from a government entity or large relief charity.
We feel strongly about the need for sustainable and affordable access to healthy meals for our community and have been deeply inspired by the work and experiences we've had thus far. We are committed to serving as a community hub providing opportunities for people to volunteer and work and for the community to connect and support itself through recovery, keeping the spotlight on Rockaway and the needs of our community.
We're hoping that our friends on Kickstarter will help us realize our dream and then come join us on the beach this summer for a meal!
Preview Rewards on Tumblr
We know you'll feel better giving to us if you can see some of the swag you'll get in return before you pledge, so check out this link to our Tumblr page for some previews of rewards.
Tax Deductible Status of Your Pledge
Shore Soup Project operates under the 501(c)(3) non-profit of our fiscal sponsor, which is currently Fund For the City of New York. Your donations are 100% tax deductible. However, due to a naming glitch with our Amazon Payments account, your pledge will say "CEC Inc.", rest assured either way, we we receive your pledges and put them to good use.
Learn More About Us: Links to Media Coverage
Our founder, Robyn, was recently featured on NY1 as Queens Person of the Week
- Art News: http://www.artnews.com/2013/04/11/moma-ps1-vm-dome-2-in-rockaway-beach/
- Top News Today: http://us.topnewstoday.org/us/article/5311081
- New York Nonprofit Press: http://www.nynp.biz/index.php/nonprofits-in-the-news/14637-group-looks-to-bring-pay-as-you-can-restaurant-to-sandy-victims
- Rockaway Wave: http://www.rockawave.com/news/2013-04-05/Top_Stories/PayAsYouCan_Possibility.html
- New York Daily News: http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/queens/shore-soup-project-bring-pay-as-you-can-restaurant-rockaway-article-1.1305983
- NY1: http://www.ny1.com/content/178666/nonprofit-delivers-fresh-produce-to-storm-damaged-rockaways
- SkyTV's Inside Out http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B9TXE4NMhX4
- PBS Canape- Rockaway Soul Food short documentary: http://vimeo.com/56070159
- FOX 5 NY: http://www.myfoxny.com/story/20167827/rockaway-rescue-alliance-provides-meal-on-the-Rockaways
- WBUR Here and Now: http://hereandnow.wbur.org/2012/11/07/sandy-noreaster-storm
- New York Daily News: http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/queens/rockaway-groups-calling-farmers-markets-sandy-article-1.1275164
- New York Magazine: http://nymag.com/news/articles/12/06/water/index8.html
- New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/21/fashion/far-rockaway-boardwalk-as-a-catwalk.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0
- New York Post: http://www.nypost.com/p/entertainment/kick_sandy_butt_ooUbxtD46XdGbUFMmxjsqJ
- CBS News: http://www.cbsnews.com/8601-500251_162-50134940.html?assetTypeId=58
- The Rumpus: http://therumpus.net/2012/11/the-last-neighborhood-i-loved-rockaway-queens/
- Jenna Pope: http://jennapope.com/2012/11/05/devastation-in-the-rockaways/
- Pure Wow: http://www.purewow.com/extra_wow_detail/ny/4274/Soup-in-the-Rockaways.htm
Find Us on Social Media
- Follow us on Twitter: twitter.com/Rockawayrescue
- Visit our Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/RockawayRescueAlliance
- Visit our Tumblr Page: http://shoresoupproject.tumblr.com/
Risks and challenges
As with any social justice and food related startup, ours is an undertaking that entails a number of risks and challenges.
We are determined to persevere through whatever may stand in our way. We have a strong network of collaborators and advisers in the restaurant, non-profit and pay-as-you-can worlds who we know we can call on to assist us. People like the founder of One World Everybody Eats network, and the head of day to operations at Jon Bon Jovi Soul Kitchen, Brooklyn restaurants like Strong Place, Caracas, and Watty and Meg and non-profit advisers like Community Resource Exchange and our fiscal sponsor The Fund For The City of New York have already been meeting with us regularly, pledging their support and lending their wisdom. We will keep lines of communication open to our backers (maybe one of you will have insights on how to tackle a particular problem we're facing ), and with your help and lots of hard work, we know these are all obstacles that we can overcome.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (40 days)