We are pleased to announce and welcome the newest member of the Village Gardens team, Kris Soebroto! Kris will start at the beginning of December as our new Program Director and brings with her a strong passion in food and social justice. It’s an exciting time at Village Gardens with new projects and next seasons planning underway and we can’t wait to get her on board! We’ve include a bit more about her in her own words below. Welcome Kris from the whole Village Gardens team!
I am driven by the belief that every person has a basic right to choose healthy food and that these choices must be easy, accessible and affordable. From what I can see, the programs at Village Gardens grew out of organizing for this basic right and I have long admired the organization for its integrity and commitment to following the leadership of the community. I have always been driven by the belief that commitment, passion, and collaboration is what makes communities and myself, as an individual, thrive – and this is what I see to be at the heart of Village Gardens.
Back in 2009, I remember how exciting it was to witness the rising tide of a rich and thriving food culture in Portland, while at the same time, how concerning it was to see poor communities and communities of color being left out altogether. I left behind ten years working in the building trades to focus on food justice and had the fortune to land at Sisters Of The Road – a non-profit Cafe that provides healthy affordable meals served with dignity to folks experiencing homelessness and poverty.
As a Cafe and Development Co-Manager at Sisters for the past 6 years, I was able to create systems and solutions to address the issue of equitable food access alongside communities who have consistently been left out of the picture. I came to understand that solutions must address immediate needs while affecting underlying issues for long-term change. Working at the heart of food justice and food equity continues to deeply impact me. It has given me perspective and understanding of who we all are and what we all deserve and have a right to as people and as a community. And it has given me motivation, focus, and a deep passion to change a system that needs to do better for each of us. I am thrilled to step into the role of Program Director at Village Gardens. I believe the work that Village Gardens is doing speaks for itself and I am thrilled for the opportunity to support its growth into the future.