Thanks and Farewell from Jennifer
Dear Kitchen Commons Community,
After much deliberation I decided to end my contract employment with Kitchen Common at the end of May 2017. There are no words to adequately express what Kitchen Commons has meant to me and my family over the past 4 years of volunteering and working. From the beginning, Jocelyn has acted as a trusted leader who flexed and bent to accommodate my and many others’ contributions. Rachel has been a stable and engaged leader with big ideas and willingness to work day by day in many capacities. And all of our kitchen leaders, interns, and partners have steadfastly worked to establish a vibrant network of community kitchens. I am grateful to have worked side by side with all of them. We have all worked with our strengths and challenges to contribute to and grow Kitchen Commons from a community conversation about kitchen spaces to an organization that has a mission, vision, values, and programs that supports community kitchens and leaders, building meaningful relationships with friends and food.
Throughout my experience with Kitchen Commons I have grown and stretched as a leader. Kitchen Commons invested in me in a way that will serve me for the rest of my life, sending me to Community Health Worker training and allowing me to serve and learn at my own pace and style. I have learned so much about leadership, collaboration, relationship building, and organizational development. I feel great about my contributions to Kitchen Commons and reflective of my shortcomings. I have discovered my strengths in facilitation, program planning, relationship building, and community engagement and uncovered areas that challenge me as well. After three years of serving creatively and flexibly, I feel I have done all I can to contribute to Kitchen Commons and leave the organization with great self-knowledge and appreciation for the opportunity.
Please accept my deepest appreciation for allowing me to serve Kitchen Commons and my best wishes for the future of the organization and all involved. No matter the immediate future, we should all feel great contentment in knowing the amazing things we have already done—the delicious, nutritious meals cooked, the joy and friendships initiated in the community kitchens, the skills learned and shared, and bearing witness to the powerful exchange that happens when we simply come together to break bread in community. Once again, thank you for the opportunity and the experience. I look forward to continuing to engage with Kitchen Commons and food justice work in Portland. Please do keep in touch and feel free to contact me with any questions you may have. In Solidarity for food justice and community resilience.