Youtica EATS brings community together through food

Youtica EATS


Youtica EATS (Encouraging Action Through Service) is a crowd-sourced event that combines micro grants and supports local food. It has its roots established in community-based dinners like Brooklyn FEAST and Syracuse’s Salt City DISHES. Youtica EATS is an effort to fund valuable grassroots community projects by bringing people together at a common supper table.

Attendees will enjoy a family style dinner prepared by Chef Tim Hardiman and the staff from The Tailor and the Cook at 5 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 5 at the Resource Center For Independent Living, Dorothy Smith Center on Genesee Street, Utica.

Come and learn about the great community projects happening in your back yard, and democratically decide which proposed grassroots community projects to fund from a juried selection. Each project proposal will be presented during dinner and patrons will cast their vote for their favorite. At the end of the night the top voted projects will be awarded with micro grants, each up to $1,000 raised through the proceeds of our dinner.

Tickets are $35 and must be purchased in advance; they will not be sold at the door. To purchase tickets, visit or

Here is a little Q&A with Ryan Miller from Youtica EATS:

Why are you hosting this event?

We were inspired by Syracuse’s ‘Salt City Dishes’ and other events around the country that are combining local food with crowd funding projects that will make our communities stronger. It’s a bottom up (and fun) approach, focusing on shovel ready projects that individuals and small groups are tackling. We want to showcase some of the ideas and initiatives that might fly under the radar, and give them exposure to action oriented members of the community and the opportunity to secure some funding to make their project happen.

Why is it important to convene the community around the issue of local food and sustainability?

We loved the idea of a group of strangers coming together around a dinner table to share ideas, meet each other, and hopefully become invested in a project or cause. We’re already seeing a trend of people purchasing more of their food locally. The process which that entails (learning where your food comes from, meeting the people who grow or raised it, visiting communal markets, and the process of cooking and sharing that food) is something that not only stimulates our local economy but builds community. With EATS, we’re funding projects, connecting people, raising awareness, and using local ingredients – everyone wins.

What do you hope will come out of the event and the sharing they expect to happen?  

We hope that those who attend the event will be inspired to support one or more of the projects presented, regardless if they’re awarded a grant or not. More importantly, we hope that attendees will make a connection with someone new, and see that there are tons of energized individuals in the Utica area that are working hard to make our community a better place to live and work. If there’s enough support it’s possible that this may be the first in a series of EATS events.

[symple_box color=”blue” text_align=”center” width=”” float=”none”]If You Go: What: Youtica EATS When: 5 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 5 Where: Resource Center For Independent Living Dorothy Smith Center on Genesee Street, Utica[/symple_box]

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