By Submitted Story on December 4, 2019
North Carolina chef and PBS star Vivian Howard recently raised $41,754 to help Ocracoke restaurants rebuild after Hurricane Dorian.
In Sept. 2019, Hurricane Dorian battered Ocracoke, a barrier island 26 miles off the North Carolina coast. Floodwaters reached unprecedented levels and damaged homes and businesses, including many restaurants that are key to the island’s tourism industry.
This fall, Howard, host of the award-winning PBS show, “ A Chef’s Life ,” initially sold T-shirts emblazoned with the saying “One Island Under Tacos” to benefit Eduardo’s, a beloved taco stand destroyed in the storm. The response to the fundraiser was so tremendous that Howard and Eduardo Chavez (owner of Eduardo’s) decided to help additional restaurateurs on Ocracoke. After directing $15,000 to Chavez to rebuild the taco stand, Howard has partnered with The Sunday Supper to distribute the remaining $26,754 via its hurricane relief grant program.
“Y’all love Ocracoke! Our little fundraiser sold more than 2,500 T-shirts,” Howard said. “I’m excited to see the profits go to help rebuild Eduardo’s taco stand as well as other Ocracoke restaurants. I’m proud to partner with The Sunday Supper to help distribute those funds; they have an impressive track record for raising money and distributing it to help food businesses come back after disasters.”
“It’s great to witness, once again, North Carolinians supporting one another in times of distress,” said Willa Kane, chair of The Sunday Supper Board of Directors. “And, we are thrilled to partner with Vivian to ensure grant funds are directly provided to Ocracoke Island food businesses most in need.”
The Sunday Supper is a North Carolina-based non-profit that enables communities to come together, build trust, give thanks and support one another. The organization is best known for its1,000-person suppers on Fayetteville Street that benefitted victims of Hurricanes Matthew and Florence. The funds raised in 2018 were specifically dedicated to helping owners of restaurants, small farms and fisheries in 13 counties across Eastern N.C.
Last year’s Sunday Supper events raised more than $425,000 for Hurricane Florence relief. Grants of more than $170,000 have been provided to 13 different businesses—from local produce farmers in Pollocksville to oystermen in Harkers Island. In October, the Sunday Supper Board of Directors voted to authorize its grants committee to deploy the remaining relief funds to qualifying restaurant owners, farmers and fishermen impacted by Hurricane Dorian.
Howard’s T-shirt sales will be combined with The Sunday Supper’s grant funds and distributed accordingly. Business owners of restaurants, small farms and fisheries can apply for a grant online. Grant applications can be found at thesundaysupper.org and will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.