Neighbourhood dinner put on by immigrant youth helps connect communities

posted on October 9, 2019

By CBC News |

A group of immigrant and refugee youth will be cooking up a storm this Saturday as part of a community dinner at Frog Hollow Neighbourhood House that celebrates new connections.

The dinner, called the New (Taste) Buds Youth Food Share Community Dinner, is part of the City of Vancouver’s Sustenance Festival — a month-long festival celebrating community food traditions, culture and art through different events around the city.

Saturday’s dinner was started by Riley Bushell, says CBC’s On The Coast food columnist Gail Johnson.

Bushell, the youth settlement co-ordinator at Frog Hollow Neighbourhood House, works to help young people aged 10 to 24 get oriented and connected with the Hastings-Sunrise neighbourhood.

“If there’s one thing that brings people together, it’s food. It’s such a powerful link to the concept of home and belonging,” Johnson said.

Johnson says Bushell built on an existing program where youth brought recipes from home to the idea of a community dinner.

The youth — about 15 in total — come from Syria, Gambia and the Philippines among other places. They, along with volunteers and community members, will spend much of the morning making food, with the dinner to begin in the late afternoon.

“Some of the dishes they’ll be making include lentil soup and a cheese and zaatar manakeesh that’s like a Middle Eastern flatbread. Tabbouleh and baba ganoush will be on the menu, and so will basbousah, which is a Middle Eastern semolina cake,” Johnson said.

Anyone is welcome to attend the Oct. 12 dinner for free, but capacity and budget is limited. Those interested in participating are encouraged to register for a ticket through the event website.

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