Bounce: Back to the Greenwood Senior Center
We are going back to the Greenwood Senior Center (GSC), and we intend to be there permanently. Beginning Saturday, January 26, the Burrito Party will be Saturdays, 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM, at the GSC, into the foreseeable future. Prep cooking will be on Thursday evenings, also at the GSC, from 6:30 – 9:00 PM.
Why? What about all the reasons to move that I argued for in a previous post? The simple answer is that the stove at the GSC is much more powerful than the stove at St. Luke’s, and I need that power to cook an enormous quantity of beans. Also, the Phinney Neighborhood Association (which operates the Senior Center) has made it clear that our program is important to them, and they want to host us into the future. It was my mistake to precipitously make a move without a complete discussion!
Our relationship with St. Luke’s Edible Hope Kitchen has not changed. St. Luke’s is the most important client of Burritos Without Borders, and they will continue to receive the bulk of our production. Their breakfast program (serving 200 people Monday through Friday) is on the front line of emergency service to the homeless, they operate on a shoestring by virtue of the personal sacrifices of devoted volunteers, and they deserve our total support.
(NOTE: There is no Burrito Party, Saturday, January 19, because I must attend a medical procedure for a family member.)
Settle: How many burritos can we make?
We made 377 burritos on Saturday, January 12. Ten volunteers worked for less than an hour to produce this record number. Everyone agreed we could do more; it would even be possible to double our output!
But it’s not that simple. The Burrito Party itself – where burritos are assembled and put in trays – is the easiest part of the process! The hard part is cooking beans and rice in quantities that challenge even the mid-size commercial kitchen at the GSC. To double the output given the available time, person-power, stove capacity, and refrigeration is not at all an obvious proposition.
We will solve it! It is very clear that this project is supported by an expanding group of enthusiastic volunteers. People are ready to do this work, and it’s my job to get into their hands the beans, rice, cheese, and tortillas they require.
Also, the need is clear. If we were making (say, for example) 550 burritos per week, here’s how they could be distributed in North Seattle:
- St. Luke’s Edible Hope Kitchen: 250
- God’s Little Acre (a day center in Lake City, run by the Seattle Mennonite Church): 100
- Phinney Neighborhood Association Hot Meal Program: 50
- Nickelsville Northlake: 50
- Aurora Commons: 50
- Licton Springs Village: 25
- Whittier Heights Tiny House Village: 25.
My best crazy idea is to recruit a commercial kitchen already in operation – a restaurant, a grocery-store deli – to cook the beans on our behalf. Someone has to have a big kettle or other professional machine that could cook 20 gallons of beans without a strain! But could such activity fit into normal commercial operations without too much disruption? Unknown, at present, but soon to be investigated!
In the meantime, please join us for the next Burrito Party, Saturday, January 26, 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM, at the Greenwood Senior Center, 525 N 85th St. Please check out and join our Facebook Group for up-to-date notices. Thank you for your enthusiasm and support, and for your patience as this program takes form. See you soon!