FEEST potluck 6/24/09

Hey everybody! Good news! Today we just received more funding for FEEST at High Point meaning that we will have 10 dinners at the High Point Community Center for the next ten Mondays! The cooking will start at 3:00pm and dinner will be at 5:30. Thank you to all who have helped with this project! Please feel free to come by to a High Point FEEST, or comment if you have any questions. Thanks!

Onto FEEST at Youngstown! Today I had the opportunity to go to yet another successful FEEST dinner, potluck actually. Because today was a potluck (this happens during the last Wednesday of every month) both teens and adults were invited to come through and participate. We had many adult community members come and share the space with us during our potluck. I gotta admit, at first we weren’t so sure of how many people would come through. Supposedly 60 people were supposed to show up. I got to Youngstown around 4:30 and it really took my friend and I 25 minutes to figure out how to set up the tables! I know, it probably sounds crazy but it just goes to show, every part of FEEST is important and meaningful- from the way the tables are set up (to create the mood and the atmosphere of the dinner) to the types of plates we eat on and the food that we eat. It turned out that about 30 or so people showed up, and the seating/table arrangements worked out just fine! Before I talk about the food though, we did something a little differently at today’s FEEST.We had two special guests come and present for us. These two women were representatives from Nutrition Services in both the Seattle and Highline School districts. They came and talked about what it is they do and how the Seattle Public Schools¬† food system operates. It was pretty interesting to hear about how different foods are selected for lunch based on their amounts of grain, protein and even their weight. More shocking, was the amount of money used to buy a whole meal for each student- not much more than a dollar! This really put things into perspective. For example,¬† how difficult it is to serve healthy food when there are financial restrictions as well as federal guidelines that the district has to follow. We learned about regulations, logistics, a lot of the sticky situations in the food world. However, not all was grim, or confusing. We learned about how we could improve the food in our schools by advocating for more funding from the government (they give the most money to the school district for food) and in our own communities and schools. By building relationships between food providers and students and creating dialog, like we did at FEEST today, we can start to create change and come up with ideas to change the food system from the bottom up as well. After the presentation, we ate good. And I mean good!The food was absolutely delicious! I always say that, but it’s always true. We had vegetarian lasagna, salad, fruit salad, shortcake, pasta, sateed vegetables, green tea. I know I am leaving out so much, but here are some pictures that are bound to make your mouth water:

Lastly but certainly not least, during dinner we discussed ways in which we could improve our schools (specifically public schools) in the Seattle and Highline schools districts. We also talked about how we could turn our hopes for change into realities and what steps it would take to get there. In my group, Alex was the only person who attended a public school in Highline and came up with some really good ideas on how to change the way his former high school handles food as well as improvements that need to be made. Shout out to Alex (also the main photographer). All in all this was, in my eyes, a pretty successful FEEST because we really did bring together adults and teens to talk, the food was great, and thanks to everybody to helped (kitchen staff, clean-up crew, guests) it ran smoothly. Although this is only the beginning, I think it was a good start to creating the type of conversation that leads to action and ultimately change for the better! By the way… it was also Jesse’s birthday today and Diana’s was yesterday! Happy Birthday to the both of them!!!

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