Volunteering for Food For All Dialogue

The Richmond Food Security Task Force hosted the first Food For All Dialogue at the Gilmore Park Church on 29th February and 1st March 2008. This two day session is to create stimulating conversation between guest speakers, professionals and Richmond residents on the issue of food security.

The definition of food security here is food for all and at all times. The dialogue will address issues of food security specific to Richmond including “food security in schools”, “growing more community gardens”, “100-mile diet”, “developing social enterprises”, and “a food policy for Richmond”. Participants will be asked to identify issues and help develop directions and strategies that address the needs of the Richmond community.

Well, I’m here just to volunteer in the kitchen to help Karen who catered for the food for the two-day Dialogue. I managed to take some time off from the kitchen to attend one of the workshop on “Healthy Schools – Are we meeting the needs of our children?” hosted by Bruce Beairsto and Ian Lai. Bruce Beairsto is the Superintendent of Schools for the Richmond School District.

Ian Lai is a culinary chef and instructor who is the founder and executive director of the Terra Nova Schoolyard Project. It was an interesting workshop where I learned how school children participated in the project learn so much in many aspects which include math, science, gardening, cooking, sharing, etc.

Back to the kitchen, Karen had to prepare breakfast, coffee break and lunch for the two-day dialogue. I was there on the 29th (Fri) morning to help. When I was there, breakfast was already served. Here are some of the breakfast items on the menu.

IMG_4155Coffee and Tea Station
IMG_4133Spreads for bagels
IMG_4136Yogurt, granola, apple, orange and banana
IMG_4139Sweet buns from Maxim
IMG_4131Bread Station

For coffee break, Karen served the followings and along with the leftover breakfast items. Participants who came in late for a later workshop can still enjoy a late breakfast.

IMG_4141Chocolate chip cookies
IMG_4143Freshly baked blueberry muffins
IMG_4148Homemade biscotti, Karen’s specialties
IMG_4151Store bought breakfast cookies

For lunch, Karen served sandwiches, soup and salad.

IMG_4167Vegetarian Sandwich Station
IMG_4170Meat Sandwich Station
IMG_4171Salad Station with edible flowers
IMG_4147Roasted peppers, cucumber and roasted eggplant on a bed of dandelions
IMG_4154Fruit Juice
IMG_4166Soup station
IMG_4176Participants enjoying lunch

It was a great learning experience for me.

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  1. lai01

    Wow! That was a nice spread.

  2. Karen Dar Woon

    Hi Suanne. Thanks for posting your wonderful photos! Perhaps your readers would like to know that the salad greens all came from a local farmer, JPS Greenhouse, in Richmond; they were picked on Thursday. The soup was made from fresh produce from W&A Farms, also in Richmond. We could not have made such nice meals without all the volunteers to help! Thanks again.

  3. Jennifer

    Those breakfast cookies are made here in Bellingham! They are quite popular- especially with a lot of the moms at my daughter’s school!

  4. buddy

    Hey Ben, Love your site. Need to contact you. Will you email me please?. Thanks.

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