• 1212 South King Street, Seattle, WA 98144
  • (206) 322-1122
  • info@nvcfoundation.org

I would like to share a few thoughts about the Nisei Lunch Program.  You may or may not know that this program was started in 2015 to pay tribute to our Nisei generation.  The lunch was a small token of our appreciation for the sacrifices and perseverance of our parents and grandparents.  They are truly a part of the “Greatest Generation.”

The lunch program has grown over the years, and the makeup of our guests has changed, however the one constant that has been vital to the success of the Nisei Lunch has been our volunteers.  When the call was put out for help with the new Nisei Lunch program, the response was immediate and overwhelming.   Some of those that volunteered in 2015 are still volunteering today.

We have been fortunate to have had a dedicated group of volunteers over the years.  All our volunteers, past and present, have been dedicated and hardworking.  Whether working in the kitchen preparing the meal, serving the meal, or busing tables, we all pitch in without complaint, and we all do what needs to be done without being asked to do so.

I must acknowledge another group of volunteers – those that pick up and deliver meals to guests that cannot attend the lunch in person.  During the period of COVID shutdowns and restrictions, the in-house meals had come to an end. Many of the Nisei Lunch guests lived in assisted living facilities, and at the time no one knew how long the COVID restrictions would be in place.  After some discussion, it was decided to try to continue the lunch program in some form by offering a pickup and delivery option.  Our primary focus was to deliver meals to local senior living facilities such as Midori, Nikkei Manor, The Lakeshore, Merrill Gardens and Aegis Assisted Living where many of our guests resided.  Some deliveries were made to private residences as well.

After the COVID restrictions were lifted and in-house dining began again, some of our longtime guests were not able to return to share a meal with their friends. The primary reasons were a change in their health or a change in their transportation situation (many of the Nisei no longer felt comfortable driving to lunch).

The pickup and delivery program continues today because a few volunteers show up each month to pick up lunches and deliver them to Senior facilities or in some cases to private residences.  These volunteers are not normally recognized: they are our “unsung heroes”.  Although the volunteers that work in the kitchen or serve in the hall on the day of the lunch receive a well-deserved thank you, it is our delivery volunteers that are often overlooked, and I would like to acknowledge them and thank them with much appreciation and gratitude for their part in making the Nisei Lunch the program it is today.

Thank you for your time and thank you all for the support you have given to the Nisei Lunch!