Not all fundraisers end with smiles, sadly. Comedienne Sara Benincasa’s effort to raise $500,000 to get writer Neil Gaiman to perform a live reading of the Cheesecake Factory menu ended up falling short. In other news, a Baltimore restaurant recently felt the effects of the Trump administration’s push to deport undocumented employees. The restaurant’s owner was fully supportive of his staff. Here’s what else happened this week in food activism.

  • The Women’s Bean Project is now selling summer goodies like raspberry lemongrass iced tea mix and a Southwest style BBQ spice blend. WBP offers a space for women who are chronically unemployed a chance to create and work in the food industry.
  • Starting Saturday, With Love in Syracuse, New York will transition from Pakistani cuisine to Burmese. The restaurant acts as an incubator for students to learn how to run a restaurant and showcase their dishes for six months.
  • Writer Neil Gaiman was challenged to perform a live reading of the Cheesecake Factory menu for charity back in May. The conditions, presented by comedienne Sara Benincasa, were that if $500,000 was raised for an organization of Gaiman’s choosing (United Nations High Commissioner For Refugees) by June 20, he would read the lengthy menu. Unfortunately, only about 20 percent of the goal was reached on that day. However, a $10,000 donation was made by actors Felicia Day and Patton Oswalt under the names Kinga and Max, characters they play on the Netflix reboot of Mystery Science Theatre 3000. In light of the generous gift, Gaiman will read Dr. Seuss’ Fox in Sox sometime in the future.
  • The Washington Post reports that an Immigration and Customs Enforcement officer visited a Baltimore restaurant, the BoatHouse Canton, last week and asked for documents of all workers. As a result, 30 of the restaurant’s staff fearfully left work, telling the owner they would not be returning to work. Gene Singleton, owner of the BoatHouse, decided to open the next day with a smaller menu and staff and dedicated some proceeds from that day’s profits to the families of his former staff.