By Rachel Richards | CNA Media Team
Faubion School now offers monthly community cooking classes through the 3 to PhD program. That program is a collaboration of five different agencies: Portland Public Schools, Concordia University, Kaiser Permanente, Trillium Family Services and Basics (formerly Pacific Foods) with the shared mission to create safer, healthier and more educated communities.
The goal of 3 to PhD is to close the opportunity gap for the most vulnerable children and families, and to restore school as the heartbeat of the community.
Jaclyn Sisto, 3 to PhD services coordinator, created the community cooking classes and taught the first one in December about making tamales. She feared no one would show up, but 50 people came together and shared feedback that they really enjoyed the event.
Jaclyn obtained funding for the cooking classes to be ongoing throughout the school year through the Northeast Coalition of Neighborhoods Community Grant program.
“With so many partners and agencies involved, our community cooking classes bring them together with Faubion families to build community and share cultural knowledge through sharing culturally specific food,” Jaclyn said.
The program is accepting donations of food (3 to PhD also provides a food pantry for Faubion families in need) or financial support. Donations can be made by contacting Jaclyn at JSisto@cu-portland.edu or 971.804.9125.
In February, three Faubion parents taught a class on Ethiopian food. In March, Faubion parent Ana Rosa Gonzalez taught a class on how to make albondigas, which are Mexican turkey meatballs.
April featured Southern cooking with Andre, who is the school’s night custodian. Another April class taught community members how to make Argentinian empanadas.
“The community cooking classes give people the opportunity to do something they are good at and share it with others,” Jaclyn pointed out. “It is a great way for community members to share culture in a way that is accessible – food. Who doesn’t love food?”
May’s cooking class is pizza on Wednesday, May 16, at 3:30 p.m. in the 3 to PhD demonstration kitchen.
Rachel is a 16-year Concordia resident who loves her community. She has a background in counseling/education and uses her passion for helping others in her work as a real estate broker. Contact Rachel or learn more about her at RachelRichardsRealtor.com.