Working with a dual purpose to both serve Tucson's refugee population and to actively eliminate food waste, Iskashitaa Refugee Network helps connect the people with the food and fruiting trees to the people who need it. Through innovative gleaning initiatives, the organization collects thousands and thousands of pounds of produce, including citrus, carob, pomegranate, dates, olives and more, that would otherwise be left on the ground to rot.
In celebration of the community surrounding Iskashitaa, the organization will be hosting their third Refugee Thanksgiving Day event in the courtyard between Desert and Patio Courtyards Apartments (1411 and 1417 N. Alvernon Way), and Las Casitas (3835 Fairmount St.) to serve up the the multiculturalism, generosity, hospitality and gratitude that the holiday seeks to celebrate.
Serving over 150 U.N. refugees from Afghanistan, Congo, Somalia and more, the event seeks to draw attention the growing refugee crisis, which is the largest since World War II. The meal will feature a diverse array of foods prepared using those same edible plants that Iskashitaa gleans throughout the year. Prepared by both refugees and members of the community, traditional Thanksgiving dishes will be served alongside Nepalese fermented pomegranate seeds, pickled pumpkin seed paste, mole poblano, Somali sambusas, Afghan kadu (pumpkin stew), and chile verde. Vegetarian and vegan options will be available.
The event will also highlight a special campaign suggesting people “Save a Turkey, Stuff a Pumpkin” this Thanksgiving to cut down on waste.
Iskashitaa's Refugee Thanksgiving Day event takes place on Thursday, Nov. 26 from 2 until 4 p.m. While it is largely intended for refugees and volunteers, Iskashitaa is inviting anyone interested in their mission to join in on the celebration. If you'd like to lend a hand to Iskashitaa for this or other events, call 440-0100 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
And, remember, it's almost citrus season, which means you should start thinking about scheduling an Iskashitaa gleaning
for that backyard bounty.