The story that Brianna was asked to write was about one of her friends. They had lost touch with each other since they left the foundation. While they were together, Latasha had made a major contribution to others living in the residence. Brianna hoped she was thriving.
Latasha never knew her dad, and her mom was taken away from her when she was just 13. She was one of those people who were caught up in the war on drugs and given a life sentence for “conspiracy” to distribute drugs. Even though there was no evidence of any drugs being sold, Latasha’s mother was given a living death sentence. Latasha was placed in a series of abusive foster homes until Henry was able to rescue her.
Throughout her life, Latasha was hungry. She was often forced to scavenge for food when she was living in foster homes. When she came to the foundation, she immediately volunteered for kitchen duty thinking that would give her access to food.
What no one expected was that Latasha would find her talent. She had a food sense that led to low cost, but nourishing meals. Her menus crossed all genres of food, but they had one thing in common. They were tasty and filling. They were also nutritious.
When Latasha left the foundation, Henry helped her with the seed money to establish a restaurant in her forever home area. It didn’t take long for the restaurant to become a meeting place for citizens of all backgrounds. She kept her prices low and her plates filled for hungry appetites. She didn’t serve alcohol, but that was not a deterrent. Seating was egalitarian, and on a first-come-first-serve basis, no appointments. Serving times were compatible with working class stomachs, and no one was seated after 7PM.
At 9PM the restaurant closed, and the leftover food was taken to a nearby food kitchen for serving to those who couldn’t afford to feed themselves. Growing up Latasha ate out of garbage cans, and she never wanted anyone to face that indignity if she had food that would go to waste.
What Brianna was especially pleased in telling Latasha’s story was how Latasha had used her own experiences growing up to benefit the lives of others. In fact, Latasha had begun to operate her own cooking academy for young people who had similar experiences in life. She was multiplying her talent.
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“Comfort food is the food that makes us feel good – satisfied, calm, cared for and carefree. It’s food that fills us up emotionally and physically. Finding comfort in food is a basic human experience.”
– Ellie Krieger (dietician/nutritionist)