Let's Build a Community Garden Kitchen

I heard about the Community Garden Kitchen for the first time a year or so ago.  The conversation was in passing, but, based on the vague information I gleaned, sounded like a good idea.  I knew that it was associated with Holy Family which was somehow tied to the Episcopal church and serves some school related purpose for kids, and that the goal of the Kitchen was to feed people.  But, to be perfectly frank with you, I'm embarrassed to say that I wasn't totally clear on what exactly Holy Family was and how the Kitchen tied in.  Oh, and there's also a community garden.  So when I was asked by friends and family to put something up about a fund raising event for the Community Garden Kitchen, I decided that it was time for a little research.

Holy Family, originally called La Escuelite, was opened in 1951 by Father Jose de Jesus Vega of the Holy Family Church, an Episcopal Church in McKinney.  Father Vega and his wife Maria Luisa Cardenas Vega began La Escuelite as a nursery school for the children of the agricultural laborers in the area.  Initially the school catered to Latin-American families, but today the student population is racially and financially diverse.  Through a variety of scholarships, acceptance of state and federal assistance programs, and the affordability of the care and education provided, Holy Family strives to provide quality care and education to all of the children in the Collin County area.  Mrs. Vega, the school's first director, wanted to insure that all of the children in her school were "kindergarten-ready, healthy, happy, and active," and that mission lives on in the school today.
In 2012 the McKinney Community Garden Association established a community garden next to Holy Family.  The MCGA wanted to create a space where residents could learn about and rent a plot to grow their own food.  Many schools are incorporating gardens into their facilities and hands-on curriculum.  The community garden exposes the children at Holy Family to the joy of gardening, but also provides space for individuals, like those that live in apartments, to have a small plot of land where they can nurture and benefit from fresh fruits and vegetables.
Now how does the Community Garden Kitchen fit in?  As I understand it the Kitchen will be a part of the school, while also being independent.  The Community Garden Kitchen is to be located by Holy Family on land owned by the Episcopal Diocese of Dallas and during school hours it will serve the children of the school, while serving the community as a whole after hours.  But the Community Garden Kitchen's goals go beyond serving food.  The Kitchen will serve as a community meeting area, there will be classes taught at the facility, as well as religious services.  Now, I think I have used the word Episcopal like 10 times already in this post, however, the Kitchen wants to bring together and provide for people of all faiths.  It will be an open door for people to gather, learn, connect, and strengthen our community.  The Community Kitchen Garden building has architectural drawings done and has begun raising the funds necessary to build this amazing facility, but there is a great deal of fund raising left to do.
And that brings us to the event I wanted to tell you about: Savor and Sip is an opportunity for you to enjoy wonderful food and drinks from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on August 23rd at one of downtown McKinney's newest restaurants, Sugarbacon.  Seriously, with a name like Sugarbacon count me in, but there's more.  Lynne Cadenda, a local musician, will be providing the musical accompaniment as you eat and drink your way through Sugarbacon's menu.  And don't forget your gift bag and the door prizes.  Now, I know that $100 is a good bit of money, however, not only will you get to enjoy the previously mentioned treats, but you will also be helping to fund the Community Garden Kitchen which will be beneficial to our whole community.  I hope to see a lot of you there and for those of you who can't make it, but would like to donate, please click here, and be sure to look for photographs of the event here the week of August 24th.

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