Cultural Cuisine: Defense Logistics Agency employees celebrate Multicultural Day

Oct 4 2011 - 11:40pm

Images

Matthew Arden Hatfield/Standard-Examiner
Tom Espinoza (left) serves Mexican food during Multicultural Day at Hill Air Force Base on Tuesday.
Matthew Arden Hatfield/Standard-Examiner
Hill Air Force Base workers attend Multicultural Day at Hill Air Force Base on Tuesday.
Matthew Arden Hatfield/Standard-Examiner
Gloria Robinson (right) serves collard greens during Multicultural Day at Hill Air Force Base on Tuesday, which featured foods from many countries and cultures.
Matthew Arden Hatfield/Standard-Examiner
Tom Espinoza (left) serves Mexican food during Multicultural Day at Hill Air Force Base on Tuesday.
Matthew Arden Hatfield/Standard-Examiner
Hill Air Force Base workers attend Multicultural Day at Hill Air Force Base on Tuesday.
Matthew Arden Hatfield/Standard-Examiner
Gloria Robinson (right) serves collard greens during Multicultural Day at Hill Air Force Base on Tuesday, which featured foods from many countries and cultures.

HILL AIR FORCE BASE -- With airmen stationed there from all over the world, Hill Air Force Base has an employee base that's one of the most diverse in the state -- and on Tuesday, you could taste it.

The Defense Logistics Agency Aviation group at Hill held a Multicultural Day featuring authentic ethnic food from Africa, America, Barbados, Italy, Mexico, Portugal, Spain and Scotland, as well as cuisine from Native American and other cultures.

With a theme of "Building a Stronger Work Force Through Diversity," the event aimed to showcase the cultural differences among employees in the DLA and how diversity makes for a better work force.

"We are celebrating diversity," said Col. Jim Kinkade, commander of the DLA Aviation group at Hill.

"When you think about the success of this country, there are a lot of skills, beliefs and backgrounds that have come together to make it what it is."

Kinkade said the DLA's headquarters, based in Virginia, holds a similar, albeit bigger, event every year.

Caron Chavez and other employees at the Hill DLA decided to hold their own event on a smaller scale, Kinkade said.

"Our headquarters does this event every year, and we wanted to do something similar," Chavez said. "We thought free food was the way to go."

Chavez's roots trace back to Portugal, and her authentic Portuguese food was a hit at the event.

Lewis Powell helped organize the event and brought along some of his wife's spicy Barbadian food.

Each food station also featured pictures, artifacts and posters with information about each culture.

"This is a good way for people to come together and learn about how someone else might live," Powell said. "We can appreciate the differences between us and then recognize the similarities as well."

Kinkade said he has seen the benefits of diversity firsthand with his own work force at Hill.

"We've got a very diverse group," he said. "You often hear that the employees are what makes an organization, but there is a dimension missing from that. It's your employees and their background and what they bring to the table."

The DLA Aviation team is a tenant agency at Hill that is owned by the Army. The group provides direct support to production for the 309th Maintenance Wing.

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