Community Pie Potluck to Support Santa Cruz Welcoming Network


 | May 10, 2024

Pie for the People – Santa Cruz will hold a community pie potluck to benefit the Santa Cruz Welcoming Network Sunday, May 19, 2024 from 1:00-3:00 PM at the Homeless Garden Project Farm on the westside of Santa Cruz (Shaffer Road at Delaware Ave).

Bring a $5+ donation per person, a sweet or savory vegetarian pie. (Bringing a pie is not required, but an added donation of a few dollars is suggested.) This is a family friendly event.

The Santa Cruz Welcoming Network is entirely volunteer-run and any funds they receive go directly to asylum seekers and refugees in Santa Cruz County. Folks started this initiative because there is no local refugee resettlement agency.

Abbey Asher, a volunteer with the Welcoming Network says, “The Welcoming Network currently has  more than 20 accompaniment teams supporting families and individuals from all over the world. We provide our new neighbors with food and assistance in navigating the medical system, transportation to various appointments, finding work opportunities and temporary housing. In addition, we are working towards longer-term housing solutions and a legal fund to assist asylum seekers in meeting the extremely high cost of legal representation in their immigration proceedings.”

According to the United Nations Refugee Agency, a staggering 100 million people have been forced to flee their homes globally due to the climate crisis, war, and worldwide food insecurity. Pie organizer Judit Camacho says, “At Pie for the People Santa Cruz we focus on local organizations addressing global concerns with the hope that our actions will ripple outward. By supporting an organization that helps refugee families resettle here in Santa Cruz we are part of the global community working to ensure that people are safe and welcomed in their new homes.”

Pie for the People-Santa Cruz is an intergenerational group of DIY community activists that host fundraising pie potlucks to support local nonprofits. Since January of 2015, Pie for the People-Santa Cruz has raised over $22,000 to feed the homeless, support women with cancer, keep a community garden going, and buy supplies for a tutoring center/food bank. They host fun, family friendly, community building events focused on pie.

                                                                                                                                       The May pie event also marks a celebration of transitions and new leadership. After nine years as lead organizer, Jenny Kurzweil is handing over the rolling pin to Cori Wolfland. Jenny says, “Several families joined together to start Pie for the People when our kids were young to teach them about community service and activism. The last two of our youth organizers are graduating this spring!”

Cori Wolfland says, “When I first moved to Santa Cruz, my wife Gwen and I were looking for community. We’ve always held service as a shared value so when we stumbled upon Pie for the People, we felt we’d found kindred spirits. The events we’d joined were wholesome, joyous, intergenerational, and set in spots that showcased Santa Cruz’s natural beauty. When Jenny announced she was stepping down, Gwen and I quickly agreed we would step up. We look forward to continuing the tradition of Pie for the People! Santa Cruz.”

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