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Inspiring Conversations with Jacobsen Valentine of Feed the Mass

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jacobsen Valentine.

Hi Jacobsen, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
Feed the Mass is a (501c3) non-profit based in Portland, Oregon, with a goal of bringing people together through food and education. We promote awareness, inclusion, and the importance of healthy cooking and eating. Since the beginning of the COVID pandemic, Feed The Mass has been providing free Chef-driven meals to anyone in need of food, nourishment, care, and community. We are also providing on-the-job training for volunteers interested in the food industry and also training them in the art of making beautiful, healthy food for large amounts of people.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
It has been up and down. The biggest trouble is the inconsistency around policy in the food world. Not to mention the access to funding for nonprofits that are doing the work to ensure people in the community are fed and taken care of.

We’ve been impressed with Feed the Mass, but for folks who might not be as familiar, what can you share with them about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
We are officially bringing back cooking classes straight to the community through our digital cooking class platform. We are also in the process of starting our new initiative this summer called The Family that Cooks. This initiative helps families gain access to food, technology, and education.

We love surprises, fun facts and unexpected stories. Is there something you can share that might surprise us?
I grew up in food scarcity. From 13-18 we didn’t have the best food in the house, and we did not have a lot of money. Food stamps were something we didn’t have access to because we didn’t qualify. I feel this was one of the reasons why food insecurity is big for me because when children are hungry and don’t access to meals, especially when thousands of pounds of food are being wasted every day, it brings back the feelings of anxiety I had as a kid.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Jason hill, Michelle Pearl Jacobsen Valentine

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