Feature: Desiree Gross & Your Local Food Truck Project
By: Lena Guevara
FEEST Journalism Intern

Most of us know that not everyone who lives in the US was necessarily born here. Meet Desiree Gross, a 17 year old youth, originally from the island of Palau, who has recognized a huge issue in her Seattle community. Growing up in Palau, Desiree had never been exposed to the way Americans deal with there food. “Back home we mostly ate a lot of fish and starchy foods, any fish we ate we either caught or bought at a local market from someone else who went out and caught it.” Coming to Washington was a huge cultural shift. Today Desiree is not different from any other teenager now, except for one thing. She has started working on a short documentary about the local food trucks in her community, and comparing them to the fast food options near them.

During her internship for Seeds of Movement with FEEST she heard a lot about how Delridge is known for being a “food dessert” and the on going project with the super 24 corner store trying to bring local healthy produce options to Delridge. From this she was “inspired” to do something else to help “after going to Mandy’s food 101 workshop and learning about where are food comes from, I realized how much I take my food for granted.” She decided for her intern project she wanted to educated youth on there food options and how they can choose to eat better without spending more. She has decided to focus mainly on the “Marination” food truck located in West Seattle. She chose to use video as her medium to show the personality that goes into food handling and how its different from food you buy at fast food restaurants. “During the summer I took a video class and I really liked it…. It gets at the personal part of food that pictures cant quite get.”

Desiree Gross, Seeds of the Movement Intern 2010-11

“One of the things I like about the food truck is they take the time to get to know people, like they know everyone by there first names, even like me.” Her project focuses on the positive opportunities food trucks provide like getting to know one another, “real ingredients”, and the same price as fast food. She wants to get kids away from looking to the cheap candy, pop, and fast food and explore what’s really better for them. “I want to make youth more aware of where there food comes from and how that should be important.” She will be previewing her mini documentary at this years 3rd Annual youth summit called Build Our Own Movement (BOOM), which will be taking place at South West Community Center, located on 28th and thistle on May 14th 2011 from 11am to 430pm. “The summits theme is to focus basically on be the change you wanna see in your community, so I hope that kids get out of this that they can do more then they think, and it doesn’t have to be all on there own. They can use the resources they have to help them like I did.”

Coming from a little “village the kind where everyone was related so if anyone needed anything u had those resources around you.” She is now making an effort to create that kind of community within food. “I want it to be kinda like FEEST, where food is a big deal, not just food.” We all have personal connections to food, if you think about it we associate food with a lot the big occasions in life like Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, or what ever it is you and your families do, food is something that you all share.

This years summit whose theme is “Youth Leading The Change” will be showcasing, not only Desiree’s project but, also other youth intern projects as well. These projects, much like Desiree’s, are about the things that matter to them and what they are trying to do about it. I encourage you to come check out all the intern projects that will be at this years summit at the Southwest Community Center and find out how you can do what Desiree is doing. All it takes is an idea and the drive to make that happen.