August 3, 2021
July was Culinary Arts Month!
Some of the best things about living in central Pennsylvania are the ties to our strong agricultural community, and to the creative and hardworking people who transform that abundance into the food and drink that bring us together.
Regan and I love visiting local restaurants and gathering places, from Pine Grove Hall to Happy Valley Brewing Company, and Big Spring Spirits to RE Farm Cafe, and farmer’s markets across the region.
We have a personal connection and deep appreciation for all those who make their living in the dining and service industry. During graduate school -- and again when Regan returned to earn her teaching certification -- I helped keep our small family afloat by waiting tables and managing a restaurant and bar. It was hard but rewarding work, and thanks to those experiences, I know the satisfaction and joy that can come from providing not only an enjoyable meal, but an opportunity for guests to be a part of a community.
But I also know that those who do the hard work growing, preparing, and serving our food often face significant challenges -- from low wages, demanding customers, and long hours, to a lack of paid time off and other benefits, such as health insurance and retirement plans. The pandemic made a difficult situation even worse for many of our friends and neighbors in food service and hospitality.
So as we begin to venture out once again, please help support our local farms, restaurants, and other businesses. We can show our appreciation for their hard work by shopping locally, spending and tipping generously, and by supporting candidates who will fight for policies that benefit hospitality workers and their families. Among my priorities in Harrisburg will be securing a living wage, paid sick time and family leave, and affordable high quality healthcare.
And if you do happen to see us at the next table or booth over, please come say “hello”!