"Without the income from the United Tastes of America, our life would have been much harder. Melina and Kate have been such good friends — to me and my family, and to many other refugees. They have offered us work and fellowship."
Rana, Syrian Refugee
Food Handling certification based on the global gold standard of training
Resettlement and advocacy support for refugee and asylum seeker families
Food, friendship and cultural exchange dinners hosted in homes
Speaker platforms on the refugee and asylums seeker crisis, resettlement and food social justice
Catering for corporate gatherings, community events, parties, weddings, congregations, schools and universities
Raising funds for commercial kitchen space to expand our food social enterprise
Help us shape futures
Our United Tastes of America cooks receive professional training and certification, regular opportunities to cook and cater, and a chance to build community and networks with US hosts.
Our commitment to our cooks extends beyond the dinner table; matching up Syrian families with US hosts for Thanksgiving, organizing dinners for a seriously ill cook and sending children to summer camp. Partnering with resettlement organizations, we troubleshoot problems (welfare, school, landlord, medical, transportation) on a weekly basis, addressing the obstacles that interfere with thriving. It is because of this basis of trust, caring and commitment that our organization works.
The ratio of program spending to overhead is 80 to 90 cents of every dollar. We’re committed to a living wage and our cooks are compensated for their time and ingredients. We also use funds for program costs - training, catering supplies, travel and resettlement facilitation, and program expansion.
We provide a vital lifeline, helping resettled families to pay off travel loans, purchase cars, pay for utilities, pay rent, buy the basics for school, and even groceries. Significantly, we not only relieve economic stress, but we reinforce feelings of efficacy and self-worth.
We are growing. We now have cooks from Syria, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Democratic Republic of Congo,
El Salvador, Rwanda, Haiti, Ivory Coast, Sri Lanka, and Pakistan. Our needs have grown too.
We’re raising funds for commercial kitchen space. With our own space, we can cater larger events, provide more training, host cooking classes and help our cooks on a journey towards greater independence through enterprise.
We are also aiming to hire a Resource Advocate, purchase a delivery vehicle and grow our catering supplies.
7,500 meals served
8.5 tons of hummus
50 congregational events, interfaith, multi-denominational
18 educational and community events
26 hosted Thanksgiving meals
YMCA day summer camp attendance for 40 children
Sourcing pro-bono immigration attorneys
Green card application facilitation
Emergency energy assistance
Education based disability services
Social services benefits advocacy
Medical and dental advocacy
Housing and emergency rental assistance