Cooks Supper

Our Cooks’ Supper cooking class, which began in fall of 2012, was an exciting next step for our program. It was intended to teach culinary skills to adults using the pantry.

What emerged was a Kitchen Community that prepared Wednesday dinner for over 100 homeless youth.   It is a striking example of how we create a caring community around the Table by drawing those we serve into serving others.

In November 2012, a program of food and hospitality for homeless youth, called The Underground, was in need of a weekly meeting space.  The Wednesday night time requested was already being used by the newly formed cooking class.  But instead of turning the youth away, the class decided together to give up their space in the parish hall and eat in the sanctuary of the church.

Over the course of two months, the class recognized they could be the cooks for the youths’ meal and volunteered to do so.  Each week, members of the class arrive early to prepare the meal for as many as 150 youth, which is then stored in warming trays.

Under the supervision of the Executive Director of The Underground, Ken Loyd, the meal was served by college students from Warner Pacific University from 5-9 p.m.   At 6 p.m., the class prepared its own meal in the kitchen, set a table in the church, and ate together as a community.

Oregon Food Bank praised our approach as an innovative way to involve adults from the community we serve in caring for youth experiencing similar struggles of hunger and homelessness.  We continue to engage our community in the relational practices it needs to reduce the effects of isolation.  We are creating a caring community whose members know how to care for each other.