Food in the Hood is a biweekly neighborhood dinner to raise funds for global charities.

617 Walnut Avenue
Santa Cruz, California
Click on the links below to view a slideshow from the fundraiser for:
El Andalon
Caravan for Cuba

Customers take whatever they want and donate whatever they want. All proceeds go to a different global charity each week. Ingredients are fair-trade and as local as possible, from the Farmer's Markets or backyards. Students from Santa Cruz High School sometimes help out, play ukuleles, or play with the baby chicks.
fith_lcol_apple (51K) fith_lcol_chickens (15K) fith_lcol_girls (18K) fith_lcol_jars (19K) fith_lcol_limes (11K) fith_lcol_rabbit (16K) fith_lcol_strawberryshortca (15K)

Are you Local to
Food in the Hood?
We welcome donations of:

  • » Backyard produce
  • » Baked goods
  • » Homemade food
  • » Preserves
  • » Canning jars
  • » Plants & seeds
  • » Plant containers & flats
  • » Scraps for chickens / rabbits

FitH partners WitH:

Wide World Partners

high school students raising awareness and funds for global causes.


enabling the great reskilling through affordable small classes.

The Parent Network

how to raise giving kids in a taking world.


artisans and entrepreneurs making the practical beautiful and the beautiful practical

Transition Santa Cruz

a catalyst for relocalization

Slow Money Santa Cruz

an investor co-op for a return to small-scale agriculture & industry.

Third Paradigm

A radio thinktank about community sovereignty and regenerative economics.
FRSC 101.1 FM
Sunday 1:30pm


helping to make santa cruz into an edible oasis.
Sunday, May 25th, 2014 at 7pm — Women's Council of Pankisi Gorge

Hello, fellow hood-yums!

Five years ago my daughters and I started Food in the Hood (FitH for short) - which were weekly food events, usually in the front yard, to raise money for global charities. These morphed into small biweekly dinner parties and then bimonthly fetes for one to two-dozen people. They've supported charities on every continent except Antarctica (if you know an NGO for oppressed penguins, let me know.) Click on any of the above links to see what you've missed.


Over the last couple years I've paused FitH to work on my book, but on Sunday, May 25th at 7:00, I'm coming out of retirement, inspired by our neighbor Rusten's sister, Suze Rutherford, who volunteers in the Peace Corps in Pankisi Gorge, a Muslim region of Georgia near the border with Chechnya. After dinner Rusten will be presenting a slideshow to tell us more about the region.

Recently the women of Pankisi Gorge have organized a Women's Council to advise the all-male Council of Elders on issues related to women, children, and families. They want the Council of Elders to hear the many voices of women in Pankisi, young and old, so that their concerns are taken into account in council decisions. On a broader basis, they wanted their stories to be heard.

So Suze contacted award-winning Seattle filmmaker Patricia Boiko, who said she would donate her time and expertise to make a documentary if they could raise the money for airfare (about $5000.) Rusten set up the Pankisi Women's Stories website to introduce the project. Through his Gleaning Stories, Gleaning Change non-profit, they were able to raise the funds for the director, writer and crew to come in June!

The women are enthusiastically preparing the stories to chronicle their lives and hopes. In addition, it's allowed them to dream about what else they might do, like making solar dehydrators out of scrap materials to get through the long hard winters. In a land of 90% unemployment, these dreams would have been unthinkable without outside support. Suze writes:

Amid the spectacular natural beauty of the Pankisi Gorge; among all the quick smiles and sudden humor and endless generosity of spirit; in spite of the incredible bounty of the autumn harvest; nestled next to the dreams of children; lying just beneath the surface of a warm hello; carried on the winds between the notes of a haunting polyphonic melody; momentarily illuminated by a thunderstorm's lightning flash; rarely talked about but omnipresent, lies the stark reality of relentless poverty, crushing hardship, stinging prejudice, and the yearning for a better life.

Our local non-profit, IF, has agreed to partner with Gleaning Stories as a fiscal sponsor for worthwhile projects like these for which very modest contributions can make a big difference. All of the money we raise, except IF's small administrative fee, will go straight to the Women's Council.

On to the food for Sunday, May 25th at 7pm

Please RSVP to if you can come. See you there!


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