Steakhouse Owner Mark Bucher’s Feed the Fridge Campaign Battles Hunger in DC

Sark Bucher is the co-owner of Medium Rare, a steakhouse with three locations in and around DC, and is on a mission much larger than maintaining an attractive menu. The restaurateur has positioned himself squarely at the frontlines of food insecurity throughout 2020’s pandemic, and his initiatives to providing judgment-free delicious restaurant-quality meals to those in need have rallied assistance from various donors, businesses, and even government agencies. Now, with Feed the Fridge, Bucher is seeing the greatest impact of his tireless work and comprehensive vision.

Feed the Fridge may have kicked off in the fall, but Bucher’s work started back in March, when he tweeted out, “If anyone knows of anyone over 70 in the DMV that is quarantined, at home, and needs a meal tonight, please DM me. We will make sure they get dinner.” The tweet took off, rallying the DMV community, with ride-share drivers and couriers volunteering to deliver Medium Rare meals through contactless deliveries to the elderly. It started with a few dozen meals in March, but quickly grew in number, with Bucher expanding this public service and aiming to feed seniors, school children, and anyone who needs a meal.

Enter Feed the Fridge, the newest manifestation of Bucher’s charitable vision. The program now sees eight refrigerators set up throughout the D.C. area which are stocked daily with 25 meals by local restaurants which are free for anyone to take. Each restaurant is compensated $6 for each meal, with funding from sources including this GoFundMe page, which has raised $66,137 at the time of this writing.

This is an exciting time for Feed the Fridge as it reaches even more people in need, month by month and meal by meal. Bucher expects the program to scale to 100 daily meals in each fridge by December’s close, and aims to have 100 fridges set up by the end of January. The program has delivered approximately 20,000 meals since March.

Bucher’s quest is an example of how practical and direct solutions can have the greatest impact on a community, and Feed the Fridge’s trajectory sees the work of donors, volunteers, government services, and local businesses collaborating in harmony. We need to see this approach applied throughout the nation regardless of circumstance, but it’s especially impactful during this perilous year. 

Cover photo: Mark Bucher, owner of Medium Rare, fills a community fridge at Takoma Park Aquatic Center.

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