Restaurant Card Press Release:
The Welcome Project Introduces “YUM Card”
To Support Somerville’s Immigrant Community
If you want a way of exploring your city, revitalizing your community, supporting local family businesses and eating the best food the world has to offer – join us…
Somerville, MA – The Welcome Project, a Somerville non-profit dedicated to strengthening civic and community life by diminishing racism and empowering the city’s refugee and immigrant groups, today announced the launch of the Yum! Restaurant Card. Developed with support from students at Tufts University, the Yum! Card offers discounts at thirteen immigrant owned businesses across Somerville. All proceeds from sale of the $10 card will go to support The Welcome Project’s programs for Somerville’s immigrant families.
“YUM!: A Taste of Immigrant City” is a multi-year project aimed at studying and supporting thirteen locally-based first and second generation immigrant owned restaurants in Somerville, Massachusetts. Initially the project was conceived of by faculty and students in the Seminar “Anthropology in Action: Fieldwork Methods for the 21st Century” taught by Tufts Lecturer Jennifer Burtner in the Fall of 2008 as a local mapping and graphic design project aimed at identifying local small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) key in the public cultural and economic life of Somerville during the recession. Through the Tufts partnership with The Welcome Project and the School for Museum of Fine Arts, YUM has since evolved into a cultural and economic revitalization project which seeks not just to raise the visibility of these restaurants and to document their rich social, historical and economic contributions to the city and region, but ultimately to expand their clientele so that they might better survive the financial downturn that has threatened so many of our region’s SMEs. While the Welcome Project (it employees, volunteers, and affiliates) actively markets the 1,500 YUM restaurant discount cards that have been created as part of this broader project, Dr. Burtner’s students will throughout the 2009-2010 continue to document through photographs, archival material, interviews, print and electronic reviews the diverse histories of these businesses and of the people who created them and run them today.
“The restaurants accepting the Yum! Card play an important role in the local economy and are central to many of Somerville’s cultural communities,” explained Warren Goldstein-Gelb, Director of The Welcome Project. “In a recession, small businesses are among the hardest hit. Our hope is that the Yum! Card will provide support to a particularly vulnerable group of small Somerville businesses while giving residents the chance to learn about the many cultural communities here in Somerville.”
Featuring a design by Tufts students at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, the card is part of a larger effort at economic revitalization in Somerville led by Tufts’ Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service. Through a grant from Learn and Serve America of the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), Tisch College’s Project PERIS (Partnering for Economic Recovery Impact through Service) partners Tufts faculty and students with community organizations to identify and address priorities for Somerville’s economic recovery.
“Every Project PERIS course is led by a Tufts faculty member in partnership with a Somerville agency co-educator.” said Tisch College Director Nancy Wilson, who also serves as Director for the Project PERIS initiative. “This model allows us to work throughout Somerville to help revitalize the local economy and to engage students in delivering services to those in our community with the greatest need.” “It is the perfect method for combining Tufts’ great resources and mission,” explains Dr. Burtner, “providing students with a very practical application for the research skills we train them in and an avenue for putting into practice the civic responsibility so many feel – all for the benefit of the community that is now their home.”
Individuals interested in purchasing a card can do so by going to [list of physical locations] or by visiting www.welcomeproject.org/yumsomerville.
The 13 restaurants participating in the Yum! Restaurant Card program are:
- Amelia’s Kitchen (Italian) 1137 Broadway (617) 776-2800
- Café Belô (Brazilian) 120 Washington St. (617) 623-3696
- Café Belô (Brazilian) 445 Somerville Ave (617) 284-6255
- Fasika (Ethiopian) 147 Broadway (617) 628 9300
- Highland Creole Cuisine (Haitian) 2 Highland Ave (617) 625-8333
- House of Tibet Kitchen (Tibetian) 235 Holland St (617) 629-7567
- Maya Sol (Mexican) 179 Broadway (617) 776-9179
- Namaskar (Indian) 234 Elm St (617) 623 9911
- Neighborhood Restaurant & Bakery (Portuguese) 25 Bow St (617) 628-2151
- Ronnarong Thai Tapas Bar (Thai) 255 Washington St, Union Sq (617) 625-9296
- Sabur (Mediterannean) 212 Holland St (617) 776-7890
- Restaurante Turístico Machu Picchu (Peruvian) 307 Somerville Ave (617) 628-7070
- Machu Picchu Charcoal Chicken & Grill (Peruvian) 25 Union Sq (617) 623-7972