Calling all chefs!
Once a month I host an educational workshop in the Community Room of Columbia Grove Apartments. The property is owned by Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing (APAH), a nonprofit developer dedicated to developing, preserving, and owning quality housing that is affordable and enhances the Arlington County community. The majority of my residents at Columbia Grove are young, low-income, Latino families with kids in Arlington schools, but relatively little access to community resources due to language and cultural barriers. As Resident Services Coordinator, I plan monthly evening workshops to connect them to social services, nonprofits, schools, and other resources that may help enhance and stabilize their lives. Depending on the topic and the availability of the guest speaker, workshops typically run from 6:30pm-8:00pm or 6:00-7:30pm.
Since many of the parents juggle multiple jobs and young children, finding the time to attend a workshop can be impossible unless dinner and childcare are provided during the event. I am looking for volunteers who are willing to cook and deliver a simple, healthy meal for approximately 15-25 people (kids and adults). Examples include macaroni and cheese with salad, soft tacos, sloppy joes, etc. I have a sink and a refrigerator on the property, but due to lack of storage, it is best if you are able to bring the dinner ready to be served right before the workshop is scheduled to begin (generally 6:00 or 6:30pm). I provide paper products and serving utensils.
Past volunteers have enjoyed staying for the workshop to meet the families and/or help out with childcare, which takes place right in the back of the Community Room where the food is served. You are definitely welcome to stay and participate or help out in any capacity!
In addition, I plan a variety of weekend and after-school events to build community among the residents, such as a Community Yard Sale, Bingo and Spaghetti Night, Easter Egg Hunt, Valentine's Day Craft Party, and a Back-To-School Picnic and Backpack Give-A-Way. I typically purchase snacks for these events myself, but volunteer food donations and participation would be highly preferred!
Volunteers should be able to purchase ingredients, prepare, and deliver a ready-to-serve meal and pick up the serving dishes after the workshop that night or the day after the event.