Samantha is passionate about food, especially when it comes to creating connections with others over a meal. Whether it be meeting people through her food blog, checking out a new restaurant, or cooking for friends – food is the common link of creating wonderful experiences and friendships for Samantha. As the Community Engagement Coordinator for Alpha Gamma Delta, she knows how to bring people together. “I think it is one of the greatest things we can do to build bridges between people,” she says. Samantha grew up visiting her grandparents’ bed and breakfast, which is where she learned to cook and entertain.
Why did you decide to become a TPF Ambassador?
My friends often joke that I am an ambassador for all things Patachou, it is hard for me to have a conversation with someone without mentioning a restaurant, initiative, or something related to Patachou. By being an ambassador for The Patachou Foundation, I will continue that but get to steer the conversation towards giving back. I think I am meant to spend my life advocating for the food insecure and this is going to be a great way to do that.
How did you first hear about The Patachou Foundation?
I think the first time I heard about it was walking past the Clay Terrace Café Patachou and seeing the stickers on their windows that stated you all had a goal of creating 16,000 meals. I remember being intrigued and wanting to learn more about what this restaurant was doing to give back at such a large rate.
What speaks to you about TPF’s mission?
I think what speaks to me most is the opportunity we are providing kids to be exposed to new foods and healthier options. A huge part of the poverty cycle is the lack of opportunity for fresh/healthy food. All of us eat is what is familiar to us. If you’ve never had quinoa, fresh veggies, or other new food, why would you seek it out? By sharing these healthy options to kids regularly in the after-school programs, they can learn to be aware of and enjoy the flavor of better options and be willing to keep that up as they get older. I think that can make a huge impact on the health of lower-income students.
Do you have any stories to share about your time as an Ambassador so far?
I am just starting out so I’m sure I will have more stories to come but I think what has been the most enjoyable aspect to me is to share with my friends that I know love the Patachou restaurants that there is an awesome charitable component to the enterprise. People are surprised and impressed when I tell them about the Foundation side of things. It is fun seeing people fall even more in love with a brand when they realize the great food is also paired with a great mission.
What is your favorite family tradition involving food?
I grew up visiting my grandparent’s bed and breakfast inn and that was where I learned to cook and entertain. Getting to help plate the breakfast dishes each day and ring the bell when the meal was ready was my favorite thing. My mom and grandma always did a good job of going the extra step for holidays and celebrations when it came to food. It has been fun to carry on that tradition of using food as a way to celebrate my loved ones.
What was your favorite snack as a child?
My mom is an incredible baker so any treat she made would be my favorite. She makes the best biscotti and I would dip them in milk when I was younger. Now they’re a treat with my morning coffee.