Read it and reap

. February 25, 2015.

To raise money and awareness for those living with extreme poverty, Toledo Streets and Food for Thought invite you to their shared fundraiser, Read it and Eat!, at 7pm on Friday, February 27 at the Collingwood Arts Center (2413 Collingwood Blvd.). Toledo Streets is a nonprofit publication which aids those dealing with homelessness, and Food for Thought is a nonprofit focused on healthy and environmentally conscious food. Guests will enjoy music, food by local chefs, an auction and raffle prizes with fundraising going to support programs for those living in extreme poverty.

To hear more about Read it and Eat!, we sat down with Rachel Richardson of Toledo Streets and Sarah Cohen of Food for Thought to learn more about their partnership.

RR: For a few months, Toledo Streets and Food for Thought were looking for a way to partner and this event is how we’re going to do that. It’s called “Read it and Eat”; the newspaper part is the “read it” and the “eat” part is Food for Thought.

SC: We’re using money from the Andersons, who is one of Food for Thought’s corporate sponsors, and we’re working with three different local chefs who will be donating their time. The products are available through the Andersons. Tracy Plumb Roux-eez Catering, Happy Badger and Rachel’s Handmade Ice Cream are the main sponsors.

RR: [The event] will have light hors d'oeuvres and small things, so everyone can mingle.

TCP: Toledo Streets and Food for Thought are both very great organizations, but they seem pretty different. Can you tell me about the motivation for this partnership?

RR: We have a lot of crossover clients, and a lot of people that are living in extreme poverty that need help. Toledo Streets provides transitional employment for people who are homeless, who were recently homeless or people in danger of becoming homeless. Food for Thought provides nourishment for people living in pretty similar circumstances, so it seems like a natural match.

SC: This is the first event, and it kicks off the March is Hungry campaign for Food for Thought.

TCP: We’ve heard a little about March is Hungry. It’s a series of house parties?

SC: So, we have a website,, and it is really easy for people to go on there and sign up to host a party. We want people to have these little parties at a house, cafe, or a nice restaurant, where they show up and bring the checkbook and make a donation to our organization. We supply the hosts with promo material and little handouts, stuff like that. It’s a way for people to be “partying with the cause.”

TCP: Are they open house?

SC: It’s up to the host to decide if it’s an open house. We have one from UT and it’s open house on campus, and we also have some where it’s just a board member and they are bringing a few people to their home.

RR: Read it and Eat! also kicks off our March issue of Toledo Streets. Since March is women’s history month, we’re profiling local women who have done things in the community. This event will be the first opportunity for people to buy and read the newspaper.

TCP: Will there be any entertainment during the evening?

RR: There will be a 20-minute program at some point in the evening about both organizations.

SC: And the Toledo School for the Arts is donating musical talent.

RR:  We’re also having an auction. There will be a couple pieces of local art, a bench that students from Ottawa Hills made for Toledo Streets, a weekend getaway in northern Michigan, and local business are donating gift baskets for a raffle. The live auction will have auctioneers, Marsha and Miles from Black Swamp Auction.

SC: We hope a lot of people come. It’s only $10 [to get into the event] because we want it to be accessible. It’s in a neighborhood that we’re all really familiar with, and seeing a lot of growth in that area. This is definitely come one, come all.

Read it and Eat! 7-10pm, Friday February 27. $10 at the door. Raffles, prizes and auctions to be announced. Historic Gerber Mansion at Collingwood Arts Center, 2413 Collingwood Blvd. More info here.