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.
Harlem Serves Up!
Six years ago, co-founders Marcus Samuelsson and Herb Karlitz launched Harlem EatUp! to shine a spotlight on the iconic Harlem community, its small businesses and restaurants. In lieu of the 6th year festival, Harlem EatUp! has created Harlem Serves Up with a TV special to promote Harlem businesses and support the Harlem community which has been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Featuring Mashama Bailey, Aliyyah Baylor, Adrienne Cheatham, Nina Compton, Charles Gabriel, Carla Hall, Kwame Onwuachi, Melba Wilson, Tren'ness Woods-Black, Skai Young and Raymond Zamanta Mohan and Daniel Boulud, Anne Burrell, Scott Conant, Bobby Flay, Emeril Lagasse and Andrew Zimmern, as well as the founder of charitable beneficiary, World Central Kitchen, José Andrés + along with with former President Bill Clinton, Kurtis Blow, Common, Sheila E, Doug E Fresh, Kevin Liles, Ralph McDaniels, D-Nice, Dascha Polanco, MJ Rodriguez, Bevy Smith, Trey Songz, Justin Tuck, Mary Wilson, Deborah Joy Winans, and more...
Donations will benefit non-profits which fight food insecurity and serve Harlem, its residents in need, its businesses and the City of New York: Citymeals, World Central Kitchen’s Restaurants for the People in the metro NY region, Harlem Park to Park, and Uptown Grand Central..
Harlem Serves Up! on Project Bento powered by Sage Plus: in the news
After leaving Apple, In his time at Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California in 1991, Samir met the master body worker Dub Leigh, who was one of the only people who was simultaneously trained by Ida Rolf, Moshe Feldenkrais and the Zen Master Tanouye Rotaishi.
Samir shared a long-term personal relationship with Dub till his passing, and was asked by Dub to become chairman of the body therapy non–profit organization, provide support to the succeeding president, and continue focus on other healing modalities. Given the personal transformation Samir experienced through this work, he has provided support to charities and personally volunteered all of his time for body therapy, leading groups and teaching as a path of service to give back to others.
Charities, non-profit and other organizations
Samir is a lifelong active supporter of women's rights, mentorship & support for minority students (Youth Mentor Network, St Xavier's Students Support), Arts, Music and Entertainment (TheaterWorks), local communities and minority workers education and health / Food & Wine Programs (Napa Wine Auction) and through donations and stock in the companies he has founded.