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Welcome to WFAEats - a fun adventure where we explore all things tasty and interesting in the Charlotte food scene. We want to share stories, recipes and culinary escapades and hear about yours!

A Taste Of Home: International Potluck At ourBRIDGE

Lynn Caldwell

Imagine: You are relocated to another country after months, if not years, of desperate and courageous efforts to protect your family. You essentially arrive with nothing but the clothes on your back. Everything about your new country is unfamiliar.

This is the reality for thousands of refugees all over the world. Forced to leave their country of origin, most arrive in the U.S. with an insufficient support system, no job, very little knowledge of English – and no hope of ever returning home.

But one important connection they have to their former countries is the cuisine they left behind. Recreating that cuisine here with limited access to resources can be challenging, but also comforting and empowering.

Food is perhaps the one thing that binds us all. Many experiences around food are universal: a spoon or chopsticks extended to offer a taste; a hand wafting the fragrance of spices from a steaming pot; people gathering around a table to share a meal.

What would it be like to sample up to 20 exotic international cuisines around one table? You have an opportunity to find out.

OurBRIDGE is a Charlotte organization that assists refugee and immigrant students and their families, primarily through academic programs, but they also help assure access to healthy meals and transportation. They are one of several organizations, including Refugee Support ServicesProject 658, and the Catholic Diocese, that provide refugee families with relocation support.

OurBRIDGE is hosting a potluck meal on Sunday, December 6 to bring their community of families from diverse nationalities together with people of Charlotte who want to share a meal with them – and hear their stories. OurBRIDGE has extended an open invitation to anyone who wants to come and bring a dish that represents their own culture and cuisine. Many of the other organizations that support refugees will also be present, and can talk with you about their work and how you can contribute.

A side note: if you attended the 2015 Plaza-Midwood Chili Cook Off, you might remember that OurBRIDGE knows their way around a kitchen. They placed first in not one but two categories. They were also voted Charlottean of the Year for Philanthropy in 2014 by Charlotte Magazine.

The event is free and begins at 3:00 pm at the OurBRIDGE office,1350 Central Avenue, Charlotte, 28205. For more information, visit joinourbridge.org.