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.
Saturday, December 3rd, 2011 — West Bank Seed Bank in Palestine

FitHing and FroThing at the mouth for this week's delectable menu,

Wow! I just realized that all of November passed without a Food in the Hood. How did that happen? Just before Halloween you helped us raise $120 for the International Labor Rights Forum to fight child-trafficking on cocoa plantations. Then I blinked and November was over!

Living Seed Company

But to make it up to you, on Saturday, December 3rd from 3:00-5:00 we're having a FitH with two very special guests: Matthew Hoffman and Astrid Lindo. They're a young couple from Marin who've started the Living Seed Company. This is a video on seed-saving they produced for Positive Spin on Free Speech TV.  It's not the entire segment as it will air, but you can see a portion of it here.

Matthew and Astrid are helping me launch the Giving Seed Investment Club. For several years I've been piloting a way to create investments that support local sustainability and generate donations to global charities.

One of these experiments has been the I-Rise bread we've featured at FitH, which is FINALLY back on track this week after Gardner's back injury. It's been a long trek through the bread desert to get back to the mecca of wholesome grains! Gardner has helped us raise hundreds for Food in the Hood causes, along with being our faithful first supporter who said, "Don't give up. Things just take longer than you think." He was right and now look at us!

Matthew and Astrid are looking for "seed capital" in the literal sense of money to buy the seed stock and to print this year's packets. But they also share an interest with me in supporting global seed banks. Together we've come up with a creative way to combine growing and giving, along with a neighborhood class on spirituality that's not afraid to get down and dirty! Come hear all about it.

Seed Bank on the West Bank

West Bank Seed Bank Hebron (Al-Khalil in Arabic) is home to more than 165,000 Palestinians—making it the largest city in the Palestinian West Bank. The city is famous for leather shoes, avant-garde blown-glass vases and qidreh, a fragrant dish cooked in clay pots. It is also notorious for settler violence in the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. And now Hebron is becoming increasingly known for an agricultural project that sets the standards for access to food in that city and across the occupied Palestinian territories.

Grassroots International's partner, the Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC), established Palestine's first comprehensive seed bank in Hebron in 2003, shortly after their staff traveled to Syria where a similar seed bank broke ground as the first in the Middle East. UAWC representatives returned to Palestine energized to revitalize their agrobiodiversity and protect their land from confiscation.....

Read the article by Salena Tramel

At the same time we'll be raising funds on Saturday for a West Bank Seed Bank in Palestine. Our friends at Grassroots International are partnering with the Union of Agricultural Work Committees who have established the first comprehensive seed library in Hebron, the West Bank's largest city.

And here's the menu for Saturday, December 3rd from 3:00 – 5:00, taken primarily from Heidi Swanson's Super Natural Every Day, with a focus on fine Pescadero ingredients:

  • Sparkling Panakam with Ginger, Cardamom, Lemon-Lime and Fizzy Water
    (unfortunately from a SodaStream carbonator made by Israeli settlers, but we'll use their technology to thwart them) or made with Sparkling Muscavado
    Sparkling Panakam with Ginger, Cardamom, Lemon-Lime and Fizzy Water
  • Winter Greens Salad with Wolf-Dried Beets and Harley Farms Goat Cheese
    Winter Greens Salad with Wolf-Dried Beets and Harley Farms Goat Cheese
  • Toasted Kale and Coconut Salad with Farro and Sesame Oil
    The food blog Habitually Hungry calls this "Making Kale Sexy."
    Toasted Kale and Coconut Salad with Farro and Sesame Oil
  • Phipps Ranch Petit White Beans with Potatoes, Parmesan and Cabbage
    Thanks to Steamy Kitchen for blogging this Super Naturals recipe
    Phipps Ranch Petit White Beans with Potatoes, Parmesan and Cabbage
  • Wild Rice Casserole with Early Bird Turkey, Cremini Mushrooms and Mustard
    Adapted from Bonny Cooks and Heidi Swanson
    Wild Rice Casserole with Early Bird Turkey, Cremini Mushrooms and Mustard
  • Apricot-Pecan Caramel Shortbread
    In looking up an image, I came up with Food in the Hood! No wonder people are looking at the blog from all over the world - it's those fabulous stolen photos.
    Apricot-Pecan Caramel Shortbread
  • Pumpkin Pie from Kar
    (Kar rhymes with share) our wonderful neighbor from California Street.
    Pumpkin Pie from Kar

Please RSVP if you're coming!

Friday October 28th, 2011 — International Labor Rights Forum

To all the little FitHies in the deep blue sea,

Our event to help build a virtual library in a Nigerian high school was phenomenal! First, we fit 24 people INSIDE the house despite the threatening rain. Second, Shannon and Betty looked stunning in their African wraps, and Shannon's slideshow of photos was breathtaking. We're still trying to figure out what kind of beetle is so distinctively marked. And finally, we raised $1950 due to the generosity of everyone present plus a special heartfelt gift from a deeply committed couple. Thank you all!

This next week we start the chocolate holidays - Halloween, Christmas, Valentine's Day and Easter. So it's time for my annual child-labor-in-chocolate campaign. With our GirlUp group we watched the documentary The Dark Side of Chocolate. The girls were very moved and wanted to know why more people weren't aware of the children trafficked onto the cocoa plantations that supply Hershey, Nestle, Mars, Callebaut and others.

A Bitter Tasting Anniversary
19th September, 2011 - Posted by Kylie Nealis

Cocoa child laborThis week marks the 10-year anniversary of the signing of the Harkin-Engel Protocol – an agreement by the country's largest chocolate companies, including Hershey's, committing to put an end to forced child labor on cocoa farms in West Africa by 2005. The Protocol pledged to develop and implement voluntary standards to certify cocoa produced without the "worst forms of child labor," (defined according to the International Labor Organization's Convention 182).

Child Labor in the Cocoa Industry

Ten years later, no progress has been made. Last week Global Exchange, Green America and ILRF (International Labor Rights Forum) released a report targeting Hershey's titled 'Time to Raise the Bar, Hershey!' which details how hundreds of thousands of children are still forced to work under abusive conditions for long hours on cocoa farms in West Africa, while others are victims of trafficking and forced labor, all for a Hershey bar. The documentary, The Dark Side of Chocolate is a great resource to learn more.

But we also felt that it was wrong to make kind people feel bad after they've bought candy for trick-or-treaters. So this year I plan to do what I did last year - make up mini-baggies of pink-yogurt pretzels, white yogurt almonds, and chocolate treats from Sunspire (who uses 90% fair trade chocolate, according to their manager.)

Reverse trick or treatAs we approach one of the most popular holidays for chocolate consumption, Halloween, there is a great way that children and families can help end child labor in the cocoa industry and promote Fair Trade – by participating in Reverse Trick-Or-Treating!

Reverse Trick-Or-Treating 2011For the fifth year in a row, Trick-or-Treaters will be handing Fair Trade chocolate back to adults, with informational cards attached, to explain the problems of the cocoa industry and how Fair Trade presents a solution. By providing children with a way to be active, hundreds of thousands of households in the US are getting the message that forced child labor will not be tolerated by our kids.

For more information and to order a Reverse Trick-Or-Treating kit by the October 11th deadline, please visit
Questions? Contact Kylie Nealis, Reverse Trick-Or-Treating Coordinator at Global Exchange: or call her at (415) 575-5551

Part of the problem is that there aren't good, fair-trade, kid-friendly, novelty chocolates. We want slave-free chocolate, not chipotle-acai berry 90% cacao. So next holiday we're going to produce our own fair-trade treats, and see if we can get a local chocolatier to join us. In the meantime we'll be raising funds for the International Labor Rights Forum, where Tim Newman (no relation to Newman's Own) keeps the spotlight on the issue, with help from Global Exchange.

On Friday October 28th at 7:00 I'm serving a fall menu from Suzanne Goin's Sunday Suppers at Lucques

Please RSVP if you're coming!

Sunday, September 25th, 2011 — Voices of Angels

The FitHs are coming FatHst and Furious these days!

The last FitH was delightful with Bert and Lois Muhly holding us spellbound with stories of a life well-lived aiding Nicaragua, Guatemala and Honduras. Prompted by Betsy McNair as mistress of ceremonies, 14 people told what brought them to Santa Cruz. What amazing histories they were! Plus we raised $414 for the work of the Friendship Office of the Americas, to assist with their Commission of Truth in Honduras. Thank you all!

Visit the web site

On Sunday the 25th at 4:00 we'll be having the last of our outdoor events for the fall-winter season. We'll revisit the Voices of Angels project in Jos, Nigeria, for which we raised $700 and donated several used laptops on April 18, 2010. Shannon and John Frediani will be on hand to tell us about the first computer lab and virtual library ever installed in a Nigerian high school. Our own Betty Devalcourt will also tell about her trip to the project.

VoicesofAngels – Nigeria Project

Discovery of a Continent

All of our recipes this week are from Discovery of a Continent: Foods, Flavors, and Inspirations from Africa by Marcus Samuelsson, chef of New York's Aquavit. I bought the cookbook at Starbucks where they donated $1 of the $17 price to UNICEF. Samuelsson comes from Ethiopia, and features their cuisine. Coincidentally my daughters and I just watched the film Black Gold which features Ethiopian coffee farmers trying to get a living wage for their coffee beans, which may be the finest in the world. In one particular scene they interview a bubbly new Starbucks manager gushing about how great Starbucks is, which then cuts to an emergency nutrition center weighing critically malnourished babies.

When the film came out in 2007 I went into Starbucks in Santa Cruz and LA with letters asking them to pay fair-trade wages to Ethiopia. I'm not sure if they did or if this $1 to UNICEF was their answer.

On to the food for Sunday the 25th at 4:00

  • Watermelon
    Watermelon is really a vegetable from a vine in southern Africa. Who knew?
  • Bread dipped in Black Olive Oil or Duqqa
    Black Olive Oil is made with black olives, garlic, thyme and anchovies. Duqqa is made with pumpkin seeds, peanuts, sesame seeds, spices and mint. Check out this recipe in The Lonely Radish.
  • Green Salad with Hearts of Palm and Grilled Tamarind Salmon
    Lip-puckering tamarind cuts the richness of beautiful fresh salmon just caught in the Monterey Bay and donated by fisherwoman Tina.
    Green Salad with Hearts of Palm and Grilled Tamarind Salmon
  • Two-Alarm Pumpkin Chili
    A vegetarian stew featuring black-eyed peas, dark beer, yellow peppers, corn, pumpkin, tomatoes and espresso. Although this recipe and photo doesn't match, the website Wives with Knives was too good to pass up.
  • Roasted Turkey Legs with Chermoula and Citrus-Ginger Butter Sauce
    This is prepared like a confit and slow-cooked in herbs, citrus juice and spiced butter. Ours will look nothing like the photo below but next time I'll make this soy and five spice braised turkey from Gourmet Traveller.
  • Chocolate Rum Cake with Cinnamon Whipped Cream
    Coffee, spices and buttermilk create this moist cake garnished with lightly-sweetened cream with vanilla-rum and cinnamon. Did you know there was a whole blog devoted to chocolate rum cakes? Me neither.

Hope to see you there! Please RSVP.


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