As the pandemic rolled through this year, many Trentonians stayed home and quarantined for the holidays, skipping the large family meals for smaller quarantine-styled holiday celebrations. With the feasts out of commission, the Trenton Public Library decided to make up for it in a quarantine-friendly way by asking Trentonians to send in their favorite traditional holiday meals.

“We got cookies and some Mexican foods, spaghetti squash, casseroles, and all kinds of stuff,” Jungwon DeVone, Assessment & User Experience Librarian. DeVone set up this little social campaign to try and bring Trentonians closer last year, and she decided to do it again this year.

DeVone said that she always enjoyed talking with people about their food and the culture that comes with it. “I created this program because I’m an immigrant,” DeVone said. “I’m always happy to know what other people what they are eating. And then once you have a conversation with food, and everybody gets bonded, they know this is like a great topic”

This program hopes to showcase food across Trenton’s diverse population, showing different family recipes like the Banana Bread Recipe they posted about today. “In my opinion,” Director Rebecca FrancoMartin said. “The city (has) a very diverse population… So it’s nice to pull the community together, engage everybody and let them share part of their culture and what they do for the holidays. And a lot of people, no matter what culture you are, what binds you together is food.”

Though that isn’t the only holiday treat, Trenton Free Public Library will connect with its local Workforce Development Board and American Job Center and other libraries in the area to create a referral and sending system that accounts for client intake, record keeping and data sharing. Participants will access free, high-quality training materials, videos, classroom aides, and mini-lessons.

“Digital literacy skills are fast becoming an essential component to navigating everyday life. We are thrilled with the award of this generous grant that will provide our community the opportunity to learn or increase their digital skills and allow access to digital resources,” said Director FrancoMartin. “As a ‘Spoke’ library, there will be a dedicated staff member with access to the tools necessary to provide basic digital instruction in our computer lab, and the partnership with the State Library supports further increasing those skills at the hub libraries.”

As for the food, DeVone will be uploading recipes daily to the Trenton Public Library Facebook page. If you want to share your favorite traditional recipe, do not hesitate to reach out to her at jdevone@tfplibrary.org. The deadline is 12/20 for final submissions.