Food brings kids together at David Douglas High’s ‘Bite’

See how this food festival helps unite the DDHS student body – and raise funds for student organizations – at the same time …

Rena Chayanam, Sami Hagardt, Jessica Nguyen, Nicole Thorstenson, Shana Duggan at the David Douglas Cheerleaders serving up nachos!

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Because David Douglas High School is so large, students are served lunch in two cafeterias – in multiple shifts.

But, when the school holds its “International Bite” event, all the kids show up to eat lunch at one time – along the breezeway west of the school.

Robert Molina, Xavier Moran, Leksi Lizotte and Marie Thompson are serving a samosa from Morocco; filled with vegetables and spices. The dish was made by the Culinary Arts Club. It was our luncheon choice!

Amid the flood of thousands of students, Kara Kauble, the DDHS’ Activities Director, keeps an eye on the huge lunchtime “block party”.

Supports school clubs
“This is a chance for a school clubs to sell foods from different nationalities, or foods that represent their organization,” explained the organizer, Kara Kauble, the school’s Activities Director.

“We have a DJ playing music, and also have an ‘American Idol’ type event, that a club is putting a showcase talent of our students,” Kauble told us. “Students are in the classroom 90% of the time, and it’s great for them to get out and enjoy a nice day. It’s also a great time for our clubs to show what they’re all about, and help them make some money on the foods they sell.”

Irina Kurich and Megan Black with the Hospitality Tourism and Recreation career pathway are selling dipped chocolate treats.

DDHS Principal Randy Hutchinson comes out to the event for lunch.

Represents diverse student body
“The best part of this event is that many of our ethnic groups serve native foods,” commented DDHS Principal Randy Hutchinson. “All of our kids get a chance to sample a variety of foods, so it’s a pretty neat deal.  It’s part of how we celebrate the diversity of our school; we have so many different countries represented here.”

As we walked with Hutchinson, he looked pleased that event was going well. “As you can see, it is orderly chaos. The nice thing is, even though we have we have close to 3,000 kids out here – when it’s all done, there’s not a piece of trash on the ground.”

The Dream Club is busy selling churros and frozen fruit bars to support their group, whose motto is “Helping hands extending to a hurting world”.

Did we mention there were a LOT of students at the event? When the bell rang, the students vanished, leaving a clean breezeway area behind.

© 2008 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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