Sharing Food and Strengthening Community


Executive Director Mary Zwolinski with her grandmother Mariam Munagian, 1979


Dear Friends,

Growing up with Armenian grandparents, almost every tradition from my childhood was centered around food. The foods that my grandmother made were such a big part of my life that the memories of each holiday were crafted around the table with others - families, neighbors and friends. I still use my grandmother's recipes (well, she never really had a "recipe" for anything) when cooking for family and friends, especially at this time of year.

For many, sharing food, sitting around a communal table, cooking and baking together are traditions that illustrate who we are. Over food, we connect and bond; we laugh, tell stories, listen and taste the incredible creativity, love and ingenuity of the people who cook for us.

Maybe that's why this time of year is a struggle for many people. Without that table of friends and family, people feel isolated and lonely. Food, like traditions, is best when shared.

At Wayside, we think that bringing people together over food is a critical part of food security. Stemming the growing tide of hunger parallels the crisis of loneliness and disconnection that plagues our country. With your help, we will continue to do our part to strengthen communities around food. Please join us.

Mary Zwolinski
Executive Director
Wayside Food Programs


Your Food Stories, Your Traditions