Like King Arthur’s Knights of the Round Table, volunteers gathered to discuss the 4th Annual MLK Peace Through PIE Day, a community social with a focal point on pie and the cultivation of peace.
Peace Through PIE is a national peacemaking movement with roots in Austin.
“You don’t want to eat pie alone. You share it,” Yvette Leno said. “It promotes good conversation and understanding.”
Leno helped bring the movement to Independence Heights through Beauty’s Community Garden, of which she’s the director. In the garden, located at 3201 Airline Dr., produce is grown without the use of chemicals.
“We’ve been able to give away hundreds of pounds of food,” Leno said. “We give food to the seniors in Independence Heights and we are now working with an elementary school to help them appreciate fresh vegetables.”
The garden also offers opportunities for community engagement and nutrition education.
Beauty’s Community Garden, in partnership with St. Matthew’s United Methodist Church, is hosting its 4th Annual MLK Peace Through PIE Day at the church, 4300 N. Shepherd Dr., from 10 a.m.-noon Saturday, Jan. 18 to cultivate relationships within the community and to raise awareness about the garden.
The social will feature free food, pies and a pie contest. The contest has two categories, people’s choice and judge’s pick. The former will feature homemade pies from community members, and the latter will feature pies from local restaurants, such as Marchese’s Kitchen, 965 Pinemont Dr.
Leno also described the event as taking advantage of celebrating Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy of bringing people together.
Volunteer Lucretia Jelks said that during the Peace Through PIE event, she sees the dream of MLK coming to pass.
“And by that I mean (the event is) very diverse in culture and race and that’s what he was about,” Jelks said. “Everybody’s just eating and drinking together, laughing and just enjoying themselves.”
Last year, the event cultivated conversations by having questions on scraps of paper on the tables. The questions served as both an ice breaker and a way to get people thinking about their community. Among the questions was, “What would you like to see different in your community?”
Following the pie social, on Jan. 20, which Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the garden is hosting a community service day beginning at 8:30 a.m.
“We want everyone that can and will to come out and garden with us,” Leno said. “There will be light refreshments and plenty to do.”