Since November of 2011, Alida has been participating at SS with 9 year old JP and also 4 year old granddaughter Genesis. They were invited by another SS family and have been coming most Sundays. When asked why she keeps coming back she said “I liked it right away, it was nice to share with the other families and to try things we’ve never had before.” Alida believes SS has inspired her son JP, too. He cooks simple meals for himself at home now.” Alida is no longer frying foods at home nearly as often as she was before SS. “I bake, stew, stir-fry, or use the crockpot a lot now… I’ve learned healthier ways to cook at home.” Alida is a natural cook and came to SS with many skills; she has made some of her specialties for our suppers (the best flan we ever tasted!). She recalls living in Puerto Rico, eating salads and lots of vegetables at home with her family and has appreciated getting back to that, since attending Sunday Suppers.
Alida is fifty-one, a devoted wife, mother and grandmother living in the Norris Square neighborhood with her husband and young son JP. Originally from Maunado, Puerto Rico, Alida and her husband came to Philadelphia in 1985 because he needed a kidney transplant. First, they came alone; leaving their two young daughters of 1 and 3 years back on the island with family, while they worked out the details of their stay on the mainland. After surgery and four months of recovery, the family was reunited and they settled in North Philadelphia. Alida still goes back to Puerto Rico almost every year to visit friends and family, but Philadelphia has long since been home.
In addition to being a wife and mom, Alida worked in the Philadelphia school system for 21 years and for some of those years she worked a second job at Wal-Mart, until medical problems interfered and she was no longer able to work. However, neither her health, nor her husband’s kept them from opening their home to their youngest child, 9 year old Jean Paul, otherwise known as JP. JP was born to Alida’s husband’s niece, but unfortunately a drug habit made her unable to parent. Alida and her husband returned to Puerto Rico to obtain legal custody of JP when he was just 11 months old.
Alida says her favorite foods at SS are the soups and the salads; her family sometimes fills up on those before the main course arrives at the table! They also enjoy the programming SS provides. She says it’s a great way to spend her Sunday evenings.
“There’s so much that we learn and do in such a short time, I love this program!”, said Alida.