No Us Without You (NUWY), a Los Angeles-based s. 501(c)(3) non-profit, returned to the city’s Downtown Arts District for its annual Sayonara Summer Block Party to support the organization’s ongoing efforts to provide meals and support for undocumented families in Los Angeles. The efforts are supported in part through a partnership with Buchanan’s Whisky and its 200% Futuro Fund.
In bidding farewell to the summer season, attendees took hot temperatures in stride as they enjoyed delicious cocktails from Buchanan’s Whisky and Don Julio Tequila, dishes from some of LA’s favourite food vendors, and live music from Las Catrinas, an all-female mariachi band, and DJ Spin. One hundred per cent of the proceeds raised will directly benefit families in need, according to Othón Nolasco and Damian Díaz, No Us Without You’s founders and partner–owners of bar consultancy group Va’La Hospitality. They were on site to not only enjoy the festivities, but answer questions and discuss their efforts with their organization to improve the lives of families and children needing assistance.
Nolasco and Díaz explained that No Us Without You LA was born from their desire to give back to their industry, especially as they were troubled by how undocumented workers affected by COVID-19 would feed their families. In a 24-hour period, the duo created a s. 501(c)(3) public charity aimed at providing food relief to the most disenfranchised hospitality workers affected by the pandemic. Using their own money, they discovered they could feed a family of four for one week for just US$33.
Among the organization’s accomplishments, Va’La Hospitality’s Boyle Heights office was transformed into a food distribution centre where over 70,000 lb of food is distributed every week. Donations have also enabled the two partners to provide pantry essentials and fresh produce to back-of-house staff such as dishwashers, line and prep cooks. Thus, they have kept alive the heart and soul of the restaurant and bar industry.
As of September 2023, No Us Without You LA is providing food security for over 700 families bi-weekly. Díaz and Nolasco plan on offering food relief packages through 2023 (and beyond) as a way to show undocumented BOH workers that they are not forgotten—and seen, heard, and respected.