Just my two cents

If you ever joined us at our Cambridge office, you’d know there wasn’t much around in the way of dining selection. However, what the area lacked in quantity it made up for in quality, mostly in the form of Flour, a beloved local bakery chain whose Cambridgeport location was our closest option for a latte or a quick bite for lunch.

Sure, it was a bit pricey, but many among us would still revel in a decadent morning or afternoon break, pulling apart an obscenely buttery croissant or still-warm sticky bun as we sipped from an electrifying cup of coffee, prepared with care by a cafe staff whose cool enthusiasm was contagious as we walked back to our studio.

We thought a lot of those kind folks at Flour when we learned that the Cambridgeport location had to close temporarily during the pandemic—and we thought about all of the people whose livelihoods were impacted in an instant by a contracting economy. We knew we were lucky to have that disposable income to splurge on a $4 scone in the first place, just as we knew we were lucky to be able to continue working and earning a paycheck. And in the absence of going out, we had saved; according to Bloomberg Estimates, Americans saved $1.5 trillion while staying home. That’s a lot of croissants.

We’ve also had a lot of time to think about where we spend our dining dollars. We always felt pretty good about our go-to joints for catering or after-work beers—locally owned, reliable sources for lunch-and-learn pizzas and kitchen party quesadillas. But during the pandemic, every spending decision seemed to take on new meaning, as well as an opportunity to do more, whether it’s kicking in a few extra bucks on the tip for our takeout order, or donating to a restaurant’s kitchen staff fund to ensure that all members of the team got a little something extra.

And although ordering takeout is an obvious way to support our neighbors (everyone’s got to eat, right?), it’s by no means the only or best way to spend our extra cash—or our energy to advocate for our communities. Over the past year we have found new determination to raise our voices for causes we care about, be it with activism, creativity, or cold, hard cash.

As our economy bounces back, we have a choice in what we do with our $1.5 trillion. And making a contribution from our own piggy banks is one way that we make a statement, however small. Join us.

Some of the organizations we’ve supported over the past 12 months:

Feeding America

NAACP Legal Defense Fund

Transformative Culture Project

Massachusetts Bail Fund

National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum

Stop AAPI Hate

Black and Pink

Okra Project

Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

National Organization for Women