Fashion designer Peter Som is combining his passion for food with philanthropy to honor AAPI Heritage Month.
Som is teaming with New York City-based socially conscious convenience store The Goods Mart to curate a limited-edition snack box available in-store and online. The box includes an array of healthy snacks, such as Ancient Provisions Cheddar Cheezish Crackers, Wholesome Organic DelishFish, PeaTos Classic Cheese Curls and Pan’s Mushroom Jerky, among others.
“The food space has always been a part of my life,” Som said about the collaboration. “Even when I had my fashion line, I always loved cooking. For me, it was something that I had grown up with, so it’s always been a natural part of my life. Food was really essential for everyone this last year and [cooking] has been a great way to explore another part of my creativity.”
The collaboration celebrates the beginning of AAPI Heritage Month, with a portion of proceeds benefiting the Heart of Dinner. The charity launched at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic with the mission of delivering food to New York City’s elderly Asian American community. Heart of Dinner has delivered hot lunches, produce and bulk ingredients to more than 1,500 elders in Lower Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens.
“As an Asian American and a Chinese American, the impact of the pandemic and the anti-Asian hate on the Asian community — especially the elders — has been heartbreaking to say the least,” he said. “For me to support in any way I can and shine a light on what [the Heart of Dinner] is doing is my honor.”
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With the rise of anti-Asian hate and violence throughout the country during the pandemic, Som says it’s particularly important this year to recognize and give back during AAPI Heritage Month. Som suggested donating to organizations like The Gold House, a collective of Asian creatives that work to create authentic multicultural representation for the Asian community, and Send Chinatown Love, which supports businesses in Chinatown impacted by the pandemic. He also suggested volunteering with organizations like Safe Walks, which recently started providing walking companions for members of the Asian American community as hate crimes have been on the rise.
“With the rise over the last year and the last few months of anti-Asian hate, it’s really important to stand up and take our place at the table,” Som said about AAPI Heritage Month. “We need to show our contributions to America and everything we’ve accomplished. Many of our stories are immigrant stories, and that is the story of America really.”
The Peter Som x The Goods Mart collaboration will debut on Wednesday and retail for $60.
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