Friday, April 28, 2017 was a lovely evening. The food was delicious, the conversation was engaging and the music was just right. The first annual Sustainable Supper and Cultural Heritage Night at Unity Charter School was underway. Families brought their own zero waste picnic dinners and enjoyed an evening together.  Shop Rite of Greater Morristown partnered with the school and held mini-food preparation classes for the children as well as donated reusable shopping bags and evergreen seedlings. Middle school volunteers ran an education station about plastic bags and the harm plastic does to the environment.  

Their art installation of 1500 bags along the school’s fence is a visual reminder of how many plastic bags an average family uses in just one year.  More middle school volunteers ran a paper pot making station where students planted their own pea. bean or pepper seeds so they can grow their own food at home. Jenny Ketrow, Unity’s music teacher played guitar for ambiance and Amanda Dibatista, Unity’s World Languages teacher, arranged to have a wide variety of  ethnic vegetarian foods brought in from their diverse population of families for all to taste.

Unity Charter School;s students have over twelve different languages spoken at home and this dinner was a celebration of that diverse population. The response from the parents in the commUnity was amazing! Many were so willing to give up their time and culinary talents to share vegetarian dishes from their cultures. They had a wide variety of samplings: Indian, Italian, Mexican, Polish, Jewish, Irish, and German. As part of his Education for Sustainability project, One of the 8th grade students made Jamaican corn fritters. The samplings were presented in the fashion of a buffet with signs designating who made the dish, the name of the dish and what country it came from. It was a wonderful evening of combining sustainability, and the many cultures here at Unity.