Feeding Hungry Students: The Kitchen Table at FRCC

Written by Matt Cunningham

 

Do you have a consistently reliable knowledge of where your next meal is coming from? Some FRCC students do not have certainty when it comes to their next meal.

According to Sociology Club advisor Kristina Kahl, “I could go into any class and easily say that half the students are food insecure.”

This is why Kahl says she feels so passionate about FRCC’s new weekly project, the Kitchen Table.  

The Kitchen Table is a program run by Kahl, Veteran Services Advisor Jeramey Reamer, and Veterans Club officer Tonya Harris. Each Tuesday from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., the kitchen table will provide free food to students in the Rotunda near the school’s cafeteria. The food is donated by Whole Foods and features Lamar’s Donuts and is available to students in the aforementioned time frame, or until it runs out: whichever comes first.

Each Tuesday that the kitchen table is held, it is open to volunteers to help make the process run smoothly. The kitchen table’s goal is to be held more than once a week so that students can have reliable meals each day of the week.

“A lack of volunteers is what prevents us from going multiple days of the week,” said Kahl.

If more students volunteered to help out the Kitchen Table, it would be able to go multiple days a week.

“When students volunteer, it’s a great opportunity for resumes and [experience],” said Kahl. “It shows [you] are going above and beyond.”

Students can sign up for volunteering for the Kitchen Table by contacting Reamer, Harris, or Khal. Reamer specializes in helping out veterans on campus. He said his motives for being involved with the kitchen table are helping the veterans get something that they definitely deserve.

“Food and housing are the biggest [cost] problems for veterans,” said Reamer.

It wasn’t an easy task to get the kitchen table up and running.  The school had to approve the table being used near the Rotunda and Student Life.

“Getting this project off the ground was the biggest challenge,” said Harris. “However, it is now a smooth process every Tuesday. This has all taken form miraculously, but we still have to deal with negative social media comments, [such as ‘get a job’ and ‘manage your money better’] which will be [our] biggest challenge moving forward.”

The kitchen table wants to accomplish more goals in the future, They aspire to provide each FRCC student who is food insecure with a reliable meal.

“Our whole goal is twofold: taking care of students who are hungry and taking care of the moment, rather than worrying about the past or the future,” said Kahl. “We want a fridge with an ice maker. We also want to raise student awareness about the food pantry, so that more [people] are fed that may not be able to afford it.”

While all of the goods are donated by Whole Foods and Lamar’s Donuts, Kahl, Reamer, and Harris all would love support from the school in any shape or form; it doesn’t have to be money.

“It would be nice to have food provided by the school.” said Harris. “Whole Foods provides a decent amount, but it goes fast.  The school helping out would help out even more students who show up towards the end of our hours.”

As the kitchen table continues to feed FRCC students every Tuesday, they still have plenty of future goals and will continue to attempt to find new and better ways to make their project as helpful for the students as possible.

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