To celebrate the new book, The Columbia Pike Partnership, in collaboration with Arlington Public Library Columbia Pike Branch, Arlington Arts, and AED BizLaunch hosted a free community book launch and panel discussion event this past April 14th. People from the public, local leaders, and small business owners gathered to celebrate recovery and sample delicious food provided by Los Chamacos, Ruthie’s All Day, The Cafe by Kitchen of Purpose, and Greens N Teff -all four restaurants featured in the book.
The event also included a panel discussion that emphasized the importance of partnerships, collaboration, community, and small business support in the Covid-19 pandemic recovery process. The panel led by Stephen Smith, Program Director at Columbia Pike Partnership, featured Daniela Hurtado, Director of Operations and Programs at Kitchen of Purpose, Michelle Altman, Patient Care Director at VHC Pediatrics, and Susmitha Mazumdar, author of Recipes for Recovery. Daniela shared how the Buy a Nurse Lunch Program provided a sense of purpose for their staff at a time of uncertainty as they prepared meals to comfort those risking their lives on the frontlines. Michelle Altman, spoke about how having Columbia Pike restaurants deliver fresh hot meals during a time when people were avoiding contact with healthcare workers due to the high risk of exposure, was a way of showing support, understanding, and offering any help possible. “…We didn’t always have time to go to the grocery store, we didn’t feel comfortable going, we didn’t know what we would be eating… to have that food delivered to us, it was a breath of fresh air” said Altman.