Graduates and community members are the heart and soul of Sunday Suppers, so we created the Peer Leadership Program in the fall of 2016. This program provides an opportunity for alumni to apply for paid positions such as group facilitation, gardening, outreach, or meal preparation. As they build on their new skills, gain experience, and receive training, peer leaders can take more significant roles on our team.
Naisha, her son Brandon, and her daughter Imani graduated from Sunday Suppers in June, 2017. Although Naisha works full-time, the family never missed a supper and have come to every monthly alumni night. Naisha tells others to “go to Sunday Suppers because the food is the bomb, the community is wonderful and you’ll prepare meals wiser.”
What is your favorite thing about Sunday Suppers?
I liked meeting new families and learning from them. – Naisha
The garden…. BBQ Tofu, it tastes like chicken. – Brandon
Spending time with my family. That’s not something we did as much before Sunday Suppers. – Imani
Tell us about a specific change you have made.
I shop better and make healthier food choices. I learned how to plan my meals and save money using coupons. -Naisha
Now I try new foods. I thought I wouldn’t like kale but tried it in a salad and loved it. – Imani
How has your experience impacted your family in terms of increasing quality of life or satisfaction?
We eat our meals together and cook together and we didn’t use to do that. Also the kids like trying new foods. At home my mom makes cooks, Imani helps and we all eat together. We learned a lot and created friendships with people in our community. – Naisha
Alec Gold chose Sunday Suppers for his Bar Mitzvah project because he wanted to “help…people in need with my bare hands. This was a great experience and made me feel so good…I learned that when you go out of your way to help others, good fortune will come to you.
What do you like best about volunteering?
I really enjoyed doing art projects with the kids while they were waiting to get seated for dinner. I also really enjoyed listening in on the topic of the night and contributing to the conversation. Serving the food and helping with cleanup was also fun. I liked everything about it!
How was it volunteering as a family helping other families?
I really enjoyed sharing this experience with my parents. Even though we were volunteers and not participants, we learned a lot about meal planning and eating together as a family.
What is your favorite memory from volunteering?
Sharing my art supplies with the kids and playing games at the table to help keep them occupied.
What family meal is your favorite at home?
Our annual fundraiser is a celebration of our program’s successes and an opportunity to build awareness, expand our support base, and raise money. Modeled after our program, participants gather around the table for a healthy and delicious meal.
This year’s event featured keynote speaker Mariana Chilton, Director of Drexel University’s Center for Hunger Free Communities and founder of Eat Café. She spoke about food insecurity and food justice. Our “Nourishing Communities Award” was given to Eat Café for their commitment to nourish, educate, and promote food justice for all.
It was a privilege to be joined by so many supporters who are concerned local food scarcity and poverty.