Four Macaulay Honors College students believe that understanding the food justice movement is a matter of taste. Literally.
Hadas “Dasi” Fruchter, Lakshman Kalasapudi, David Weinberger and Lashika Yogendran are Macaulay students who are also Kenan Fellows—outstanding honors students selected for their demonstrated commitment to public service. They are the organizers of FoodFest 2010, taking place at Macaulay Honors College, 35 West 67th Street, 2 – 8 pm. The event is free and open to the public; participants will learn sustainable food consumption practices, engage in direct, meaningful service, and be empowered to create grassroots food justice movements on their own.
The feature of the day generating the most buzz is a cooking lesson, led by community chefs with extensive experience in green, healthy cooking, which will result in a delicious seasonal dinner to be enjoyed by all, imparting knowledge that can be used to improve cooking practices and eat and shop healthier—and tastier.
“Through creating art, cooking and eating delicious food, and networking with experts in the field of food justice and hunger, we hope to create a space for growth, community, and fun,” noted Yogendran.
A panel discussion entitled “Digesting the Food Movements” will address ways to approach issues such as hunger, planning, farming, and more. Panelists include president of the New York City Community Garden Coalition, Karen Washington, and will be drawn from a wide variety of backgrounds to highlight the ways in which their fields intersect with one another. In addition, several organizations have been invited to bring information about themselves and will be available to connect participants with food movements around the city and in their communities. There will also be a puppet show, films, a map display, art projects and more.
During the event, the group will make sandwiches for the Midnight Run later that evening, when volunteers will distribute the sandwiches to homeless people and those in need of food relief. Participants are asked to bring one non-perishable food item to the event to contribute to the distribution effort.
About the FoodFest 2010 Organizers
Hadas “Dasi” Fruchter is an Urban Studies and Media Studies major at Macaulay Honors College at Queens College. A junior, she is the president of the Jewish Social Action Club and a member of STAND, the student anti-genocide coalition. She recently began a Challah for Hunger Chapter on campus, where students come together to bake Jewish ritual bread and raise awareness and funds for global disasters. Dasi, a Kenan Fellow, is particularly interested in food justice, faith-based activism, community empowerment, and poverty relief in urban areas.
Lakshman Kalasapudi is a Macaulay Honors College junior at Hunter College. He is a South Asian Studies and Urban Planning double major and Kenan Fellow. He has been involved in various movements in the past and looks forward to learning more about the food movements both in academia and activism. His interest in the food movements is born from the view that they represent the intersection of a variety of issues including racism, hunger, poverty and class, immigration, environmental, and more.
David Weinberger is Macaulay Honors College junior at Hunter College and a Political Science major. During his time at Hunter, David has found that the bulk of his interest lies within the expansive field of sustainable urban development. As a Kenan Fellow, he is exploring New York City food movements and the role they are playing in the creation of equitable and low-impact food systems across the boroughs.
Lashika Yogendran is a Macaulay Honors College junior at Brooklyn College. She is a Chemistry and Classics double major and a Kenan Fellow with the hope of going to medical school and pursuing her dream of becoming an oncologist. Her wide-ranging interests include caramel macchiatos, red velvet cupcakes, and Homer. Lashika’s interest in food justice drew her to collaborate on this event and to learn more about the food movement and hunger.
About the Kenan Leadership Scholars Program
In 2002 the William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust made a generous pledge that funded the Kenan Leadership Scholars Program. The overarching goal of the program has been to enhance honors education at CUNY by sponsoring a group of outstanding honors students who hold great academic and professional promise. The program provides a set of unique experiences aimed at preparing these young people to make substantial contributions after graduation as leaders in their chosen fields. The primary goals of the program are to incubate and foster social vision and courage; to build identity and intention as agents of change; and to draw meaningful lines of connection between scholarship and the communities in which we live.
About Macaulay Honors College
Macaulay Honors College at The City University of New York offers an exceptional academic and co-curricular environment. Macaulay students enroll in one of seven CUNY senior colleges (Baruch, Brooklyn, City, Hunter, Lehman, Queens and Staten Island). Through the unique Macaulay advising program, each student develops a coordinated, individualized academic program that includes research, global learning, graduate and professional mentoring, community engagement, and close faculty-student collaboration. Selected for their top high school records and leadership potential, every Macaulay student receives a full-tuition scholarship, a laptop and technology support, a $7,500 study grant to pursue global learning and service opportunities, and a Cultural Passport that provides access to more than 200 museums, libraries, and other treasures around New York City. With the admission of the Class of 2014, Macaulay marks the beginning of its tenth year. For more information about Macaulay Honors College, see macaulay.cuny.edu.
Contact: Rich Dikeman, Director of Communications
Macaulay Honors College