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Food-sharing event in Abbotsford brings together cultures

Variety of dishes prepared for event hosted by Archway Community Services
Archway Community Services held the Multicultural Food Sharing Event on Aug. 23 at Mill Lake Park. (Submitted photo)

More than 100 people enjoyed a variety of foods from different cultures at the Multicultural Food Sharing Event in Abbotsford on Aug. 23.

The event was hosted at Mill Lake Park by Archway Community Services.

“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 the church and an Archway board member.

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Guests 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 curry.

A mini golf course was also available at the event along with booths representing local organizations and community resources.

Vicki Lin, supervisor of the Archway Food Justice program, thanks the volunteers and partners who helped out and shared their dishes.

“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,” she said.

United Way BC, Lepp’s Bakehouse, the Community Services team of the City of Abbotsford and Tourism Abbotsford 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,” Lin said.

“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.”

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Volunteer cooks prepared food at Sevenoaks Alliance Church for the Multicultural Food Sharing Event on Aug. 23 at Mill Lake Park. (Submitted photo)

Abbotsford News Staff

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