By Julia DiGiacomo
Trumpet Blossom Café is promoting peace through tacos the last Tuesday of every month.
In a series “Tacos for Peace,” the vegan restaurant gives 20 percent of its proceeds from Tuesday evening to the Iowa City chapter of Food Not Bombs, which specializes in giving out free food to the community in order to reduce food shortages and hunger.
Although the rice, beans, and vegetable filled vegan tacos are featured as a special each Tuesday, the Tacos for Peace event occurs just the last Tuesday of every month from 5 to 9 p.m.
The project was founded and organized by Trumpet Blossom’s owner and chef, Katy Meyer. She chooses an organization to donate to each month.
Meyer said she always chooses a group that in some way, shape, or form is working toward a general sense of peace for the community. She said the organizations are always local and nonprofit.
In the past, Trumpet Blossom has raised money for the Iowa Farm Sanctuary, women’s shelters, an animal shelter, the Johnson County Crisis Center, among others.
Food not Bombs is an international network of collectives dedicated to giving out free vegan and vegetarian food that would otherwise be discarded.
“The idea is that there is so much of a surplus of food in the world, but it’s not getting where it needs to go. There are still a lot of hungry people and food is being thrown away all the time that is still edible,” Trumpet Blossom employee and Food Not Bombs member Chloe McClaren said. “So what we do is try as much as possible to locate food sources that would otherwise be thrown away that are still perfectly edible.”
McClaren said the staff members get leftover, yet edible, food such as bread and tofu from Trumpet Blossom and Old Capitol Food Co. They also obtain food to give out from local food banks.
McClaren said the Food Not Bombs chapter of Iowa City became active again in October 2017. Since it is too cold to pass out free food in outside venues such as parks, she said, they will use Public Space One, 120 N. Dubuque St., as the location this February.
“We are always looking for volunteers,” McClaren said. “For anyone who wants to help out or anyone who wants free vegan food, we have got dates coming up in February.”
The group will hand out food 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday and Feb. 16 at Public Space One.
Meyer said she starteded Tacos for Peace events in December 2016.
“It was after the election, and I felt kind of helpless, and wanted to do everything, and knew I couldn’t do everything,” Meyer said. “I was just trying to think about what I could do that would have an impact and something to give back to the community, since the community has been so supportive of what we’ve done.”
Trumpet Blossom waitress Molly Enochson said she’s seen a good turnout for the fundraiser, and it has grown in popularity.
“Supporting Tacos for Peace or coming here for this event is a good way to support a local sustainable vegan restaurant while simultaneously supporting another organization chosen that would also strengthen the community,” Trumpet Blossom waitress Jessica Smith said.