Project Bento was founded by Marcus Samuelsson, Derek Evans and concerned chefs, owners, and celebrities with Samir Arora and his Sage Plus team to help create a coordinated resource to bring together the nationwide efforts of the charities organizations and fundraisers which are supporting impacted businesses to help feed people urgently in need of food and provide relief to the families employees and businesses thrown in crisis now and through recovery.
Now more than ever we need to come together build together.
Thank you to our recent donors for your generosity! ❤️
Project Bento Supports:
Restart & Rebuild
Interested in providing urgently needed help to employees and restart/rebuild programs today, contact us if you would like to sponsor the Project Bento Matching fund:
Are you running a Support our Staff or a Restart/Rebuild fund? Apply to be featured on the Project Bento site and considered for the Project Bento Support our Staff Matching fund:
Chefs taking action.
Featured people driven to take action now
to help people in need.
The Project Bento Fund is a support and matching fund created to help charities, employee relief and restart/rebuild funds in which Sponsors can choose exactly how to apply their funds—to all participating campaigns or to a specific region or charity, employees or restart/rebuild fund campaign.
Through their generous support, companies and people are making a meaningful impact on the lives of people in need of food and to the owners and employees devastated by COVID-19 and rebuild efforts with Project Bento.
$10M - 25M+
Sponsor Donors of the Project Bento Fund can select specific chefs, restaurants, businesses, regions and causes to benefit Restart/Build business campaigns, Support Our Staff and 501(c)(3) Charities,.
Bank of America
100% of your public donations on projectbento.org go to support Project Bento Programs that help employee and restart/rebuild business funds or your chosen beneficiary 501(c)(3) charities. Project Bento is built on the Sage Plus Platform that is charging a 0% application platform fee for participating nonprofit fundraisers for COVID-19 and restart/rebuild businesses. The beneficiaries will receive 100% of your public donation less the payment processing and transfer fees paid by the charity directly to the payment processing service for your donation.
Launch Sponsor Donations
$100,000 to $1,000,000
In Addition, Citi is supporting World Central Kitchen in Harlem as part of a national partnership with World Central Kitchen for HarlemEatup!
Your donations to 501(c)(3) charities are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.
What is Project Bento?
Project Bento is a major initiative that, through an innovative fund that provides urgent support to restaurants, local, minority-owned and BIPIOC businesses and their employees most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, economic and social crisis in need now and through recovery. Using the power of sponsorships, larger organizations and donors can multiply their impact for these struggling small businesses through their generous contributions.
Project Bento was created by Marcus Samuelsson, Derek Evans with Samir Arora and his Sage Digital team to bring together, all in one place, a way for sponsors and donors to provide funds to businesses and their employees—and see the actions and impact of their relief efforts.
There are three types of Project Bento Programs that do the following: help small businesses stay open, supply meals and help employees in the hardest hit communities in America, including Harlem, Newark, Overtown, Oakland, New Orleans, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Chicago.
What are the Project Bento Programs?
There are three types of fundraising campaigns through Project Bento that help restaurants, businesses and their staff:
Funds to Support our Staff support restaurant and small business workers currently out of work, with many unable to access unemployment benefits.
Restart/Rebuild Programs support restaurants and businesses to cover the necessary costs to open, run and stay in business during this time of crisis.
Community Meals support restaurants currently utilizing their space as a community kitchen to feed locals in urgent need.
How can Sponsors help amplify their impact?
Project Bento provides sponsorship and matching funds to amplify the power of donations. People feel more inclined to support and donate to a fundraising campaign knowing that there are sponsors who support their donation, multiplying their impact. Project Bento has been built ground–up to help sponsors and donors contribute to the nationwide Project Bento Fund or select specific campaigns, regions, programs, and businesses to support.
Who are the Beneficiaries of the Project Bento Fund?
The Project Bento Fund provides funds to participating restaurants, local, and minority–owned businesses that are selected by Marcus Samuelsson and the Project Bento teams. 100% of all funds raised through public donations on projectbento.org go to the chosen beneficiary: restart/rebuild programs, employee support funds and select 501(c)(3) charities, .
The Project Bento Fund, operated by Project Bento, provides sponsorships and matching funds to participating restaurants and local businesses that benefit the following nonprofits: World Central Kitchen, Citymeals on Wheels, Support Our Staff, Restart and Rebuild and Minority-owned business Funds.
Project Bento is built on the Sage Plus Platform that is charging a 0% application platform fee for participating nonprofit fundraisers for COVID-19 and restart and rebuild efforts.
Sponsorships and contributions received by Project Bento will be shared as selected by the sponsor with our charity beneficiaries, selected minority–owned business, region, restaurant, employee relief and restart and rebuild funds and/or used to support Project Bento expenses to operate our platform and fundraising efforts. All Donations and sponsorships to the Project Bento and participating fundraisers from all sources may be included in the Amount Raised.
What is the Project Bento Fund?
The Project Bento Fund is a sponsorship and matching fund to help restart/rebuild funds, employee relief and 501(c)(3) charities, employee relief in which Sponsors and Donors can choose exactly how to apply their funds—to all participating campaigns or to a specific minority, region, charity, restaurant, organization or employees or restart/rebuild fund campaigns.
Who supports the Project Bento Platform?
So much of our desire to create a simple, effective way to provide urgent relief is due to the generosity of our founding organizers, donors and sponsors, as a result of their personal and financial commitment, all Project Bento operating costs are provided by our organizers and sponsors so that 100% of public donations on projectbento.org are used to help lives.
How can I donate to the charities, employee and restart/rebuild funds involved?
You can submit your direct donation online at projectbento.org via a variety of payment methods, including online payment and credit cards. Donors can select campaigns on ProjectBento.org website, Sage Plus App, embed a donate button on their own sites, add a donate page to their sites and use their Instagram bio link to point to their campaigns. Donors can select the campaign, minority-owned business, restaurant, region and choose the charity and/or employee or restart fund you want to help support. Donors can also optionally pay for the payment transactions fees for charities and add a tip to Project Bento that charges a 0% platform fee for nonprofit fundraising and relies on the generosity of sponsors and donors to operate these services.
Where did the idea of Project Bento come from?
On April 23th, 2020 Derek Evans, CEO of Marcus Samuelsson Group spoke to Samir Arora, CEO of Sage Digital about the difficulties restaurants, businesses and their employees were facing along with people in need of food as a result of COVID-19 that led to the creation of Project Bento for the launch of HarlemServesUp with Chef Marcus Samuelsson, Derek and concerned chefs, owners and celebrities for charities, organizations and fundraisers for relief for restaurants, businesses and their employees. Samir immediately asked Brad Koenig, former Head of Global Technology Investment Banking at Goldman Sachs and one Sage Digital early investors, who felt this was an important cause and joined as one of the founding sponsor donors.
Project Bento was created to be the first online destination that brings together, all in one place, the actions and impact of the COVID-19 and social unrest related relief efforts by leading chefs, celebrities, organizations and donors.
How can I join the Project Bento Movement?
Project Bento Founding Organizers hold the vision of Project Bento and are helping build the Project Bento Matching Fund to help people in need.
Project Bento Founding Donors and Sponsors include companies, organizations, individuals and family-funds that provide contributions to support campaigns, minority-owned businesses, restaurants, regions, employee and restart/rebuild funds and charities.
Project Bento Participating Chefs, Owners, Leaders, Artists and Celebrities are helping build Project Bento, help create the Project Bento Fund, and play the vital role of sharing our our vision.
Project Bento Volunteers provide their energy and love to help people in urgent need.
How can a restaurant or business be supported by Project Bento?
Participating Restaurants and Businesses are nominated and verified by Project Bento to receive the Project Bento Matching Fund for campaigns for supported charities, employee relief and restart /rebuild business funds.
Project Bento Campaigns Directory is a list of external campaigns for charities, employee and restart/rebuild business funds that are promoted by Project Bento as a service to help highlight the efforts and impact of chefs, owners and organizers that are helping bring relief to people in need.
How does Project Bento report the impact of contributions?
Project Bento is founded on the principle of using smart technology to provide public data and tracking for campaigns, sponsorships, and donations for relief with live posts, videos and stories on the impact of these efforts.
Participating businesses need to provide daily meals created information using Project Bento best practices using the meal practices of charities and government requirements. Employee relief funds are required to pay the lowest earning members of the team first, then to rest of team, Restart /Rebuild Business funds have to report payments applied towards business rent, utilities, damages, operating and restart costs, if they are open for business and/or to create meals.
Project Bento provides 100% transparency and reports contributions, donations and charges publicly on projectbento.org.
Where is Project Bento's registered?
Project Bento is a new non-profit corporation registered in California that has created the Project Bento Fund that ensures that 100% of all public donations on projectbento.org go to the campaign beneficiaries. Project Bento is a tax-exempt organization as described in section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Project Bento registration information:
2995 Woodside Road, Ste 400
Woodside, CA 94062
How does Project Bento support minorities, under represented or repressed voices?
At the first meeting between Marcus Samuelsson and Derek Evans with Samir Arora and the Sage Digital team in October 2019, Derek spoke about the deep repression of minorities: black, women, and experts/local voices that serves as the foundational pillar of our efforts together. It is our goal at Project Bento to strongly support the movement to find justice in honor of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and many others and use the Project Bento Fund to help minority-owned and damaged businesses and employees in need of urgent relief and support.