When voters walked into P.S. 9 Tuesday, they were met with smells of African coconut curry soup and Hungarian stew, turkey white bean chili, and curried chicken.
It was all part of the school’s International Café fundraiser, held only every four years on Election Day.
During other elections, P.S. 9’s PTO holds a bake sale, said PTO member Louise Sloan, but on Presidential Elections, “we go big.”
Unlike the school’s other fundraisers, because this one is only every four years, each one is a new experience for most of the parents.
Sloan, who helped organize this year’s event, said she was hesitant to call it an “International Café” for fear it would fall short.
“I was worried there would be a store-bought pound cake and maybe some macaroni and cheese,” she said.
Sandy multiplied the anxiety. Because the school was closed for a week, committee members couldn’t schmooze with parents and make sure the menu would be filled out.
“It was really just blind faith,” said Sloan.
But the dishes came, more than 50 of them. There were soups and stews, side dishes and desserts. Most homemade, and many elaborate.
“People didn’t just throw this together,” Sloan said.
PTO member Laura Jaffe agreed. “They all stepped up. To see everyone do everything just after the hurricane. … There was a lot of love in that food.”
The fundraiser raised $3,532, which will go to arts programs and other activities at the school.