by Dorcia White-Brake, FEAST program graduate and board member and Everytable store manager.
I first joined a FEAST group in 2015! The impact that it made on my life has been very substantial, I have learned to make better choices for myself and my children. We consume much less meat and dairy these days. We eat more vegetables than carbohydrates or meat and it used to be the other way around.
I feel that FEAST is the gift that keeps on giving because it builds autonomy and capacity in its members. It’s like that saying, “give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” FEAST has provided me with the tools to be able to combat any food obstacles that come my way! I know how to shop healthy, good healthy, say no to what’s bad for me. I celebrate in healthier ways. Instead of a piece of cake, I will grab some fruit and I am more satisfied with that fruit than any pastry, cake or cookie could ever have made me! I’m also much more willing to explore new tastes because of my experience with FEAST.
The group that I graduated from was always asking Sam, “how can we continue to eat healthy once this class is over?” and Everytable grew out of that question. When I first learned that we were going to have a healthy, convenient option in our community, I was so ecstatic. I knew that I had to be a part of it. I started working part-time and now, I am a manager at one of the stores. My three children and I have all learned to eat much healthier because of my FEAST experience, and Everytable makes it just that much easier. My oldest son has lost 60 pounds and I have lost 22 pounds. Even my youngest son, who is very picky, likes the food!
Being part of these two organizations has changed my life for the better. I live healthier and I believe I have much more confidence since my FEAST experience. Everytable has given my family job opportunities. My son manages the Santa Monica store and my daughter is a store lead at the Compton location.