By Matt Loper, Executive Director of Kids4Peace Boston, and Jordan Goldwarg, Northwest Regional Director of Kids4Peace International
On Sunday, December 14th, while some of the youth from Kids4Peace Seattle were at an Albertsons supermarket in Seattle, collecting donated food items to benefit Northwest Harvest (Washington State’s largest hunger relief agency), Kids4Peace participants in Boston were at the very same time cooking donated food into a delicious meal to be served at the First Church in Cambridge Men’s Shelter.
Six of Boston’s year round participants cooked up a Brown Rice and Turkey Casserole and chopped tons of pineapples, mangos, cucumbers, carrots, and mint for a colorful and tasty Mexican Fruit and Vegetable Salad. They served it to the 14 residents of the Men’s Shelter who shared their gratitude for a warm meal on a cold Boston night. The Kids4Peace participants had the opportunity to meet the shelter’s guests, learn about current issues related to homelessness in Boston, and tour the facilities. As the group did the dishes and cleaned up from a fast paced preparation, they spoke about homelessness within the Kids4Peace Boston community and ways in which they, as teen Peace Leaders, can make a difference.
Meanwhile, 2500 miles away, Kids4Peace Seattle participants, counselors, and adult volunteers were asking supermarket shoppers to make an extra purchase of food and baby supplies to donate to Northwest Harvest during the holiday season. In a little over two hours, the group collected enough items to completely fill up the trunk and back seat of a car (requiring a little engineering to figure out how to make it all fit!). As Kids4Peace Seattle continues its year-long exploration of food justice, the group also had time to talk about what it would be like to be on the receiving end of donations, and to discuss ways of making sure that all people in our community have enough to eat.
In both Boston and Seattle, our youth did an amazing job showing what it means to give back to our communities!