(Slideshow updated with new photos.) The United Nations African Mothers Association (UNAMA) has held this annual fundraiser since the mid-1980s. Proceeds, which in one recent year benefited Hurricane Sandy relief efforts, generally "support programs for women and children in Africa."
The variety of food, prepared offsite by wives of U.N. delegates and served buffet-style, is overwhelming. At my first UNAMA event I noted the names of 16 African nations along the serving line, though many labels were handwritten, some of them on the spur of the moment; it's very possible that the true count was higher. Likewise, the buffet's identification of dishes was not rock-solid, and though some were close cousins to items I've come across in the five boroughs, others were less familiar. A working knowledge of culinary French and Portuguese would have clarified a few ingredients. To be sure, most everyone spoke English, too. The atmosphere was low-key, and the company, consistently welcoming and gracious.
For more photos from multiple fundraisers, see my slideshow.
UNAMA Fundraising Buffet Luncheon
Church Center for the United Nations, 777 UN Plaza (44th St. at First Ave.), Manhattan
(The 2015 luncheon was held on December 4)