October 14, 2014

From left: Diane Jensen, manager of the Rockwood Center; Chair Kafoury; Brent Horn, chief operating officer of Meals on Wheels; and Marco Circosta, constituent relations for the Chair's Office

Chair Deborah Kafoury met with community partners at the Rockwood Center in Northeast Portland on Oct. 13  to discuss ways to better reach out and serve Spanish-speaking residents.

Over beef stroganoff and chicken tacos, Meals on Wheels director Brent Horn talked about employing multilingual menus and bilingual volunteer servers at their nine locations across Multnomah County to better reach residents from across the globe.

Community outreach workers from Easter Seals and MetroEast also came to talk about what they're doing to better connect across languages.

Jose Aburto found out about Meals on Wheels during a Wednesday lunch at Catholic Charities. He said many Spanish-speaking residents gather there each week.

Raffaele Dominguez, 73, found out about the Meals on Wheels lunches when he walked past the Rockwood Center and spotted the signs propped up out front.

"I almost always come here," he said in Spanish. "I worked a long time in the fields, 33 years, farming lettuce, cilantro, peppers. I'm disabled and I don't work."

During Monday's lunch, Dominguez expressed how much the meals mean to him. "It's important because of the food and because of the community," he said.