Pemberton’s Blue House Organics and Vancouver’s Cacao Restaurant Raise Funds For Venezuelan Children’s Hospital
We don’t need much incentive to purchase farm fresh vegetables, but when we hear we can support a local farm, while assisting hungry children further afield, we’re even more motivated. This summer and through the harvest season Blue House Organics from Pemberton, B.C., and Cacao, a Latin restaurant in Kitsilano, are raising funds for children in Venezuela, all while nurturing locals. The Venezuelan project, Fundació Barriga Llena Corazón Contento, translating to Full Belly, Happy Heart, is a volunteer initiative led by several renowned South American chefs, including Carlos Garcia and Francisco Abenante. These chefs operate a daily soup kitchen at the Hospital JM de Los Ríos for children in strife-torn Caracas, Venezuela. The funds raised from Blue House Organics and Cacao, will go directly there to feed kids nutritional meals.
Blue House Organics will donate $1 from every $20 harvest box of fresh vegetables sold from now until the end of the growing season, and Chef Jefferson Alvarez from Cacao, using vegetables from the farm, will donate full proceeds from a featured dish.
The vegetables in the harvest box may vary; Alvarez will feature a Cacao’s Venezuelan Freedom Salad, at $10 with Blue House Organics lettuce, kale, Swiss chard and cherry tomatoes, dressed with cacao nibs, berry scoby (kombucha culture) and chive oil.
We just received a harvest box with a little extra added (this could not possibly be $20), but your boxes will be just as fresh and certainly plentiful.
Quoted from the press release. “Right now, in Caracas, there are a lot of people eating from garbage bins in the streets,” says Carlos Garcia, chef-owner of Alto, one of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants in Latin America. “We’re doing the best we can to help the kids in the hospital and the doctors who treat them, because they don’t have anything to eat either. We make 250 bowls of chicken soup each day. And every day we hope that the country is going to change.” Each bowl of soup costs $1 to make, he estimates.
Blue House Organics harvest boxes are available to purchase online (bluehouseorganics.ca), at the farm-gate stand (8184 Pemberton Meadows Rd.) and the following farmers markets:
- Downtown Vancouver (Queen Elizabeth Theatre), Thurs., 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
- Riley Park, Vancouver (30th Ave. and Ontario St.), Sat., 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
- Pemberton (Pemberton Community Barn), Fri. 3 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
- Whistler (Blackcomb Mountain Base), Sun., 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
ABOUT BLUE HOUSE ORGANICS
Established in 2017, Blue House is 15-acre (2.5 acres in production) transitional organic farmstead nestled in the lush Pemberton Valley meadows. Farm manager Andrew Afelskie grows more than 30 varieties of crops for restaurants, retail, CSA and farmers markets. Overnight rental accommodations in the spacious, modern farmhouse are available for guests wanting to experience country living, a bounty of farm-to-table flavours and the extensive backcountry adventures in Pemberton.
8184 Pemberton Meadows Road, Pemberton, B.C., www.bluehouseorganics.ca
ABOUT CACAO RESTAURANT
Cacao opened in September 2016 to five-star reviews and is now nominated for Canada’s Best New Restaurants by enRoute Magazine. With celebrated chefs Marcela Ramirez and Jefferson Alvarez at the helm, the Kitsilano kitchen represents a progressive philosophy toward Latin American cuisine that honours their roots with authentic flavours from Mexico and Venezuela. Cacao is open for lunch Wednesday through Sunday from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm and dinner from 6:00 pm to 11:00 pm.
ABOUT FUNDACIÓ BARRIGA LLENA CORAZÓN CONTENTO
Established in June 2016, the “Full Belly, Happy Heart” foundation has been making daily deliveries of hot, nutritious chicken soup to patients, their family members and staff (enough to feed 250 people) at the Hospital JM de Los Ríos for children in Caracas, Venezuela. The hospitality-industry collaboration, initiated by chef and restaurateur David Akinin, is joined by Carlos Garcia, Francisco Abenante, Victor Moreno, Eduardo Moreno, among others. Donations can be made in bolivars and foreign currency: www.gofundme.com/barrigallena
THE SITUATION IN VENEZUELA
Venezuela, once Latin America’s richest country, is in the grips of a colossal political, economic and humanitarian crisis. As daily headlines around the world attest, the protest-ravaged country with the world’s highest rate of inflation is headed for mass poverty. There are critical shortages of food and medicine. Shelves in government stores are bare and bread lines are common. There is a resurgent epidemic of malaria and children are dying of diphtheria, a disease not seen for two generations. And yet, the government refuses to acknowledge the existence of a crisis and has made only the most limited efforts to obtain international humanitarian assistance.