Second Annual Food & Justice Night

The Office of Community Engagement was proud to host the second annual Food & Justice Night on April 19 in collaboration with the Student Diversity Council and community groups across the school. 
The event explored the intersections between culture, social justice, sustainability, and community-building over a potluck meal provided by Grace community members. This year’s event featured a keynote speaker from No Kid Hungry, a nonprofit dedicated to ending childhood hunger whose mission closely aligns with the event’s focus. 

The event was conceptualized by Kim Chaloner, Dean of Faculty, and Jean-Robert Andre, Dean of Equity and Inclusion, as an evening of community-building and learning. Last year’s inaugural event featured a panel of Grace parents and board members, including Barbara Sibley, Jason Slibeck, and King Phojanakong, who spoke on their ties to the food industry and what food justice means to them. Chef King reflected on his work with urban farming and Small Axe Peppers, a small business that works directly with NYC community gardens. This year’s event was dedicated to King’s memory and impact on Grace and his commitment to food justice through No Kid Hungry. 

Rachel Sabella, the NY Campaign Director of NKH, spoke on the organization’s mission and partnership with King to aid food insecure families with meals during the pandemic. Rachel consistently testifies to the New York City Council advocating for policies that address equitable access to food, a mission that parallels the pillars of Food & Justice Night. 

Lastly, leaders of the Student Diversity Council shared lighthearted stories of food, belonging, and traditions in their families—like senior Mariaux C., who told the story of learning how to make an empanada from her mother, an expert empanada folder. With food graciously given by Grace students and parents from all kinds of affinity groups, guests were able to mingle over delicious eats, including the empanadas!

Events like Food & Justice Night could not be as exceptional and successful without the help of the Grace community. The Office of Community Engagement would like to thank senior Aulden B. for creating the event poster and Google Sites page, Grace parents Aubrey Shipway and Annabel Nau for connecting the Office with Rachel Sabella and the No Kid Hungry team, the maintenance team for helping set up the event, Barbara Sibley for donating platters from La Palapa, and all the students who donated meals and treats for guests to enjoy. The OCE looks forward to the next Food & Justice Night!
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Grace Church School is a co-educational independent school in downtown Manhattan, New York City providing instruction for nearly 800 students in Junior Kindergarten through Grade 12.