A Thank You Note

Wow. There are no words to describe the fact that I am writing my last blog ever for this amazing organization! I became a part of Brainfood just about a year ago through my placement as an AVODAH Service Corps member, and the experience has been the most amazing roller coaster I’ve ever experienced. Most of all, at this moment, I’m feeling an incredible amount of gratitude for all of the people I’ve met and interacted with in my role here as a Program Associate. Brainfood is a small organization and what we do is made possible by the host of amazing individuals that make up our staff and whom we interact with. So here is my thank you note:

To the employees at the 5th and K Safeway: Thank you for putting up with all of my ridiculous grocery-related requests (“Can I have just one single shrimp? Do you sell tamarind pulp? Where do you keep your turkey sausage?) and for helping me to pack my cart when I made a humongous purchase. You made grocery shopping easier and more fun!

To the staff at Calvary Baptist Church, the host of our Chinatown site: Thank you for helping myself and other Brainfood staff with tasks from fixing a broken freezer to setting up videos to screen in class. While your work may be behind the scenes to students, I see the many ways in which your hard work makes our programs possible!

To the Brainfood Youth Garden: Thanks for being a space in which both staff and students can learn and engage with food in its most natural form. I feel so grounded when I get to harvest produce that goes directly into our dishes. Keep growing!!


To the many guests chefs who have visited our classes: Thank you for donating your time to bring some real world experiences to our classes. During your visits I’ve learned many things: the optimal temperature for butter in biscuits, techniques to use for clean and crisp plating, and to how to maximize your efficiency and safety when using a knife. My culinary knowledge has been so expanded because of your presence!

To Brainfood's partners in the DC Public and Charter Schools: Thank you for connecting your students to our programs and working every day to make DC a city that values and supports its youth.

To the Brainfood Weekly Classroom Assistants: Thank you for your tireless dedication to our Kitchen All Stars program. Your friendly faces brighten staff and students’ days and your fun-loving attitudes make our kitchens into fun places for everyone to be! You play a huge part in creating the welcoming atmosphere at the heart of the Brainfood community.

To the Brainfood Homegrown Team: Thank you for showing me what true creative freedom looks like. The food that you create is always so innovative. You are true leaders! And of course, thank you for all the times you filled my stomach with your delicious snacks!

To the Brainfood Programs Team: Thank you for leading by example and bringing so much enthusiasm to our class and our programs. Watching each of you interact with participants has shown me your true passion for this work and I am excited to see your work in future years at Brainfood and in other youth serving organizations. Keep smiling and laughing and loving food!

To the 2015-2016 Kitchen All Stars cohort: Thank you for being my first class at Brainfood…and ever! I will always remember your excitement to learn and the numerous things you taught me about your favorite hobbies and pastimes outside of our classroom. It was a privilege to get to know you over our eight months together and I know you all have bright futures!

To our Box Project and MVPs Participants: Thank you for showing me what true leadership looks like. Your passion is inspirational for me and so many others in the community, and your ability to connect with others has helped to bring this love of food and belief in food justice to so many corners of our city. Keep doing what you’re doing!

And last but not least, to my 2016 Summer Institute class: Thank you for teaching me how to bring my real and best self to work, class, and life. You all showed me how to be confident and self-aware every day with the way you approached cooking challenges, trying foreign foods, and working with new people. I wouldn’t have closed out my experience with Brainfood with anyone else!

Brainfood is truly a unique organization that I have been honored and privileged to be a part of. While it is bittersweet to be moving on, this is certainly not a goodbye, rather a see you later.

- Julie


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