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Remember the tilapia: Dine out for MAP at Madonna’s

blog by Ben Tsujimoto  • 

Just over a month ago, the Massachusetts Avenue Project (MAP)—a beacon of urban agriculture and sustainability in Buffalo’s West Side—suffered damage to its greenhouse in a windstorm, exposing the temperature-dependent interior to a blast of cold air.

As a result, the tilapia raised inside the pond could not adjust to the temperatures and wound up perishing—$2,500 is the financial barrier to returning the fish farm and greenhouse to their previous states.

The following quote from the press release describes the damage’s impact.

The greenhouses helped us provide nutritious, affordable food to over 2,100 people in 2013 and is a venue for providing job training to over 45 youth and hundreds of community member each year.

Madonna’s, a relatively new Allentown Italian restaurant owned by Chris Connolly (pictured left with the News’ Julia and Katie) of Cafe 59, will donate 25 percent of its proceeds from dinner on Thursday evening to the rehabilitation project, as well as $5 per bottle of wine sold [complete menu here].

Your ears perked up when you read “wine”? I’m not shocked. Madonna’s boasts a bevy of Italian wines that are a little unfamiliar to Buffalo, so harken back to this Buffalo.com post to grasp a few of the finer points.

(Also, a word to the wise: When in doubt, choose Moscato. Order a bottle, too, instead of a glass. Your wallet will thank me.)

Dinner reservations are strongly encouraged if you’re planning to attend during the typically busy hours (5-7, I’d imagine), but the restaurant remains open until midnight, and bar sales support MAP’s mission as well. You can see the official flyer here for additional information.

MAP’s vision is quite direct, yet it’s inclusive in that it aggressively employs Buffalo’s youth and provides job training for many West Side community members. Read the detailed vision below:

We imagine a community in which all youth and families have access to fresh, healthy and culturally appropriate food, where people of all incomes have economic opportunities to enrich their lives and support their communities, where vacant lots are transformed into productive green spaces, growing food to supply local residents and beautify neighborhoods, where youth and their families are engaged in policy development and planning for the restoration of land and their communities.

Even if you stop in to split a bottle of wine with a friend, Thursday night’s cause is worthy because of Connolly’s generosity and MAP’s need.


TAGGED: allentown, chris connolly, fundraiser, madonna's, map, massachusetts avenue project

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