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Kitchen Tool Library advocated in Brooklyn

by: RITA A. LEONARD - Jocelyn Mueller advocated for Kitchen Share Southeast at a recent Brooklyn Action Corps neighborhood meeting. As more residents experiment with growing and preserving their own food, interest in Southeast Portland’s “Kitchen Tool Library” is spreading through the neighborhoods. At a recent neighborhood meeting, Brooklynite Jocelyn Mueller, Outreach Coordinator of Kitchen Share Southeast, promoted the fledgling neighbor-share program for unique kitchen tools.

“We’re a certified non-profit, through Southeast Uplift,” she said. Uplift is Inner Southeast’s “neighborhood coalition”, which provides services and assistance to neighborhood associations, through the city’s “Office of Neighborhood Involvement”.

The concept of the “Kitchen Tool Library” is the inspiration of AmeriCorps volunteer Kim Hack, who envisioned a community collection of specialty kitchen equipment – expensive, but rarely used – which could be borrowed from a volunteer-run neighborhood resource, similar to a lending library. A similar concept has already been applied to garden and construction tools.

The kitchen program is sited at St. David of Wales Episcopal Church, 2800 S.E. Harrison Street, which already hosts a thriving more generalized Tool Library (HYPERLINK "http://www.septl.org" www.septl.org). Kitchen Share Southeast had its grand opening on Tuesday, August 21, with food demonstrations, activities, and entertainment.

“We’re trying to develop a collection of kitchen tools that people don’t need often, but would like to borrow on occasion,” Mueller explained. “We're looking for things like fancy juicers, canning equipment, a cider press, bread and pasta machines, and so forth. Donations are welcome – especially from businesses that are updating their equipment, and are looking for a tax write-off.

“We put up information tables at local farmers markets, and at the Brooklyn Ice Cream Social in September, to advertise our goals and recruit volunteers. There’s currently a smaller Home Goods Library up and running through the Warehouse Cafe at 3434 S.E. Milwaukie Avnue n Brooklyn, but Kitchen Share Southeast has a broader range of equipment.”

Such community-oriented sustainability programs fit right in with Portland's “green” image. With the harvest season upon us, Kitchen Share Southeast hopes to increase neighbors’ efforts to prepare and preserve more healthy, local, and home-grown food.

Information on the concept can be researched online at: HYPERLINK "http://www.kitchenshare.org" www.kitchenshare.org – or, call 503/208-4706.