When San Francisco food blogger Sabrina Modelle heard about the earthquake and tsunami devastation in Japan, she reacted the same way that most of us did: staring, dumbfounded, at the horrific images on the television screen, or listening in disbelief to the coverage on the radio. And it was while Modelle had her ear bent to an NPR segment, focusing on the the dearth of food in Japan, that she decided to do a little research on food banks.
Modelle, whose blog is www.thetomatotart.com, poked around the Internet and came across Second Harvest Japan, a food bank (Japan's first) that donates $1,000 worth of food for every $100 donated to them -- and then she came up with the idea to enlist food bloggers from around the world to take part in a 24-hour online Bake Sale for Japan, which starts today and continues through tomorrow.
Modelle's goal is to raise $2,500 for the food bank, and she's getting a little help from local foodnik Andra Zeppelin, whose own food blog, frenchpressmemos.blogspot.com, is one of our favorites.
"The Japanese disaster left me wanting to help, and I felt like it was my personable responsibility to do something," says Zeppelin, who's got six bags of her "killer" housemade granola up for auction. "While I have never been to Japan," she notes, "I studied Japanese for four years and became close with a Japanese foreign exchange student who lived with us when I was a child. I read a lot of food blogs and appreciate being active in the blogging community, so when the Tomato Tart launched her idea of a bake sale, I found my opportunity to support the relief efforts through something I hold dear and enjoy most: food."
Along with Zeppelin's granola, you can also bid on Brazilian caramel candies, a citrus trio of preserves (I might go for those!), triple chocolate almond cookies, Japanese pineapple cheesecake, Meyer lemon sugar cookies in the shape of Scrabble squares, cupcakes, cakepops and dozens more.
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Modelle had originally invested in some fancy auction software, but it crashed her site, so she's accepting all donations through e-mail. It's simple, though: Just e-mail her with the name of the item you wish to bid on, along with corresponding blogger's name and your maximum bid. All bids begin at $20, every single cent raised goes toward the relief efforts in Japan, and, if you win, you'll receive your loot directly from the blogger.