Over 200 neighbors bond over traditional comfort foods

Marion Street PTA hosted Taste of Marion


Neighbors took a stop on Marion Street to have a taste of the diverse cultures and traditions from around the world.

Marion Street Elementary School’s PTA Diversity Committee spearheaded an event on Feb. 11 called Taste of Marion where over 60 families provided food from their heritage for the cultural celebration. The goal of this event was to bring the community together.

“We wanted to host an event that represented the diversity within the school,” said Judy Andon, Marion Street PTA Diversity Committee chair. .

Andon said the event was a way to bring in the parents of the students from different diverse backgrounds together to share their culture. This was the second year for the event with more than 200 people attending.

“It was a really good turnout,” Andon said. “We had so much food, so much dessert, the music was great, we had so many parents come to the event, who haven’t attended other PTA events in the past, but they showed up that night.”

Andon said that this event was a great opportunity for parents to meet and share their culture through food.

“Principal Mrs. (Theresa) Macchia and everybody was really surprised by the outcome of the event and the participation we received and all the amounts of food that people brought,” Andon said.

The countries that were represented at the event were U.S., Mexico, Colombia, Guyana, Costa Rica, Italy, Greece, Germany, Austria, Ireland, Haiti, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Trinidad and Tobago, China, India, Bangladesh, Philippines, Kyrgyzstan, Nigeria, and Morocco.

“We had dishes from every region of the world,” Andon said. “So for Mexico, we had some tacos, for the Italian dishes, we had meatballs and eggplant parmesan, from Asia we had lo mein and spring rolls, from the Caribbean we had empanadas, from Africa, we had Joll of rice. We had some non-alcoholic coquito as well from Puerto Rico.”

In addition to parents bringing food to the event, Andon and Shana Conza, Marion Street PTA 3rd Vice-President of Education, went to local businesses for their participation. They offered them a deal where if they donated a dish, the PTA would advertise their business at the event. The local businesses that participated in this event were River Mill, Vincent’s Pizzeria & Restaurant, Squeeze, Vicki’s Deli, Doughology, and Karahi House.

The cultural performances and displays at the event included a Haitian Art Exhibit by artist Samantha Joseph. Another performance was by Lynbrook High’s Danaia Omuralieva, who played an instrument from Kyrgyzstan.

“Also, we had a martial arts display this year from Ultimate Martial Arts & Fitness,” Conza said.

Andon explained that the goal of this event was to expose parents to the diverse backgrounds that students see every day at school. She wanted families to learn about the different cultures in Lynbrook.

“We asked for very traditional comfort foods,” Conza said. “So this event was about bring people together over food in this family atmosphere. It was both an intimate gathering and a really large event because people brought things that were very special to their families.”

There was an aspect of awe and community pride that was different from any other Lynbrook event, according to Conza. She said that it’s important to have events like these so people in the community feel included.

Andon and Conza plan to bring this event back next year with more food, entertainment and support from more local businesses.