Senior Community Lunch Program
Ikoi no Kai was born, appropriately enough, on Valentine’s Day – February 14, 1979. The founders chose the name because it means “a place of rest” and it was originally for the first generation Japanese American Issei to have a spot to gather and enjoy a Japanese lunch at affordable prices. That we still gather in the same place, Epworth Methodist Church, is due to the hard work of the many directors and wonderful volunteers –some having worked for 20 and almost 30 years. But most importantly, the person most deserving of recognition is Lury Sato who with a devoted committee labored for several years to plan, survey community, lobby with Multnomah County to get approval, then become director of the fledgling operation and get it off the ground.
There have always been Japanese lunches served on Tuesdays and Thursdays. For the past 7 years we have enjoyed the cuisine of Chef Kashu Hamada, former owner of Zen Restaurant.
At some point Loaves and Fishes food was contracted and delivered on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. But in 2010 the connection with Loaves and Fishes was terminated and replaced with cooks from the community who serve a variety of home style food—some Asian, some international—always wholesome and delicious.
2009 marked a difficult change with the loss of County funding for the program. This has meant taking a new approach. The decision was made by the Ikoi no Kai committee to widen the scope and invite community folk of all ages to lunch together. It became necessary to close on Wednesdays, so a 4 day week became the focus. The hope is that the entire community will treasure this organization and see the opportunity it gives us all to come together, socialize and share a meal.