Forest Grove Community Matters is an alliance of community members, in collaboration with local, state and federal organizations, advocating for the support and well-being of all community members.
Our Community, Our Needs, Our Responsibility
Community Matters formed out of a concern for the homeless and hungry in Forest Grove. Washington County has social services, but we have found much of it is focused on the more densely populated areas. We have worked closely with the UCC church in Forest Grove, Pacific University, Forest Grove Senior and Community Center (FGSCC) and the Dairy Creek Community Food Web (DCCFW) to try to establish our community needs and our goals.
Recently, FGCM hosted a meeting in which Sisters of the Road Cafe’ founders came to discuss their beginnings and how we could create a similar model in Forest Grove. Out of that arose the community dinners that we have at the Forest Grove Senior and Community Center every second Friday of the month. Community dinners began last summer as a way to bring the community together over food. Each member of FGCM group brought something from their garden or market to add to a salad and some folks brought bread or other sides. The salads were amazing! And the next dinner each FGCM member was encouraged to bring a friend or family to join us. It was terrific turn out with more amazing food. Winter brought us to soup! For the past several months we have been creating some of the most amazing soups in the “Stone Soup” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stone_soup) tradition.
As a group in the winter we ensure a vegetarian soup stock is provided, and then other FGCM and DCCFW members bring a variety of vegetables, legumes and seasoning to add to the soup. Our hope is that as we continue to bring friends and family to dinner and as FGCM grows these dinners will bring together not just people we know and people who can bring ingredients, but also community members who may not be able to contribute to the soup but who are hungry and need a healthy meal to eat. The picture here is the soup created at our January dinner!
Again, as we head into summer and gardens begin to produce, our meals will consist of hearty fresh salads.