Volunteers prepare food for the Multicultural Food Sharing event held in Abbotsford
More than 100 community members enjoyed a variety of foods from different cultures at the Multicultural Food Sharing Event hosted by Archway Community Services on Wednesday, August 23rd at Mill Lake.
“In many cultures, food is central to bringing people together,” said Sumaiyyah Adam, a Community Coordinator with the Archway Diversity Education program.
“This event was created to bring the community together to celebrate diversity, build connections, and create an opportunity to get involved in the local food ecosystem.”
Volunteer cooks prepared the Ukrainian, Middle Eastern, Kenyan, Indian, and Taiwanese food at Sevenoaks Alliance Church.
“The sight of all of those groups of volunteers laughing and sharing and working together in the kitchen all day was sheer joy for everyone who had a chance to see it happening,” said Brian Robertson, Lead Associate Pastor at Sevenoaks Alliance Church and Archway board member.
In addition to the community building between the cooks, attendees had the opportunity to meet the cooks and gather with other community members from diverse backgrounds. The volunteer cooks served the food along with information about their respective homelands and cultures.
Attendees got to sample various dishes including mukimo, savoury and sweet varenyky (perogies), chow mein, platz, falafel, samosas and rice with curry. A mini golf course was available at the event along with booths representing local organizations and community resources.
“We are so appreciative to all the volunteers and partners who offered their time and put thought into the dishes they shared. The foods that were offered at the event were all traditional foods and it was beautiful to see different members of the community being involved and trying something new!” shared Vicki Lin, Supervisor of the Archway Food Justice program.
United Way BC, Lepp’s Bakehouse, the Community Services team of City of Abbotsford and Abbotsford Tourism helped provide funds, food, space and activities. Additional food was purchased from BIPOC-owned businesses like Yaffa Café and Gian’s Indian Cuisine.
The event was a joint project between Archway’s Food Justice and Diversity Education programs. Many of the volunteer cooks were clients of Archway’s Settlement Services programs which help thousands of newcomers integrate into their community.
“Food is a universal language and it was so lovely to see all the cooks laughing and taking pictures together and sharing their food and trying new things! Language is not as much of a barrier as we often think it is and it was so great to see them make those connections with other members of the community,” said Lin.
Volunteers at the Ukrainian booth where they gave out sweet and savoury varenyky (perogies)
“We are so appreciative to all the volunteers and partners who offered their time and put thought into the dishes they shared. The foods that were offered at the event were all traditional foods and it was beautiful to see different members of the community being involved and trying something new!”
One of the volunteers rolling out the dough for the varenyky (perogies)