CUNY Students to Host Second Annual FoodFEST at Macaulay Honors College on October 23 and 24

Macaulay Honors College and CUNY students believe that understanding the food justice movement is a matter of taste. Literally.

CUNY FoodFEST 2011 is the second annual food justice event put together by students at Macaulay Honors College.

Last year’s FoodFEST was a daylong event that drew over 150 faculty, students, and friends of CUNY. It was one of the biggest student-led-and-conceived events in the history of the Honors College.

Taking place on October 23rd and October 24th, FoodFEST 2011 is a two-day event for CUNY students and the general public focused on educating and engaging participants in stimulating conversation about various topics in the food justice movements. On Sunday the 23rd at the Macaulay Honors College, students will attend workshops, cooking lessons, and meet with various food justice organizations from around the city.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 campuses.

Workshops will be led by experienced members of the food community, including Mimi Sheraton, renowned food critic for the New York Times and Time Magazine, and Joel Berg, author and leader in the fields of hunger and food justice. Sandor Katz, author of Wild Fermentation: The Flavor, Nutrition, and Craft of Live-Culture Foods, will also be leading a session on fermentation.

Mimi Sheraton

There will be cooking lessons, a highlight from last year’s FoodFEST, where three chefs will come and teach participants healthy and easy recipes to do at home for a nutritious and delicious meal. Other activities include preparing meals for the homeless, yoga, art, and a food justice-related puppet show.

Participants are asked to bring one non-perishable food item to the event to contribute to the distribution effort. The day will be chock-full with delicious, ethically conscious, vegan and vegetarian snacks. By the end of the event, anyone can be a “snacktivist!

On Monday the 24th, National Food Day, there will be various campus events around New York City including Challah for Hunger: Seed to Sale at Queens College, agri-CULTURE, a Food Film Series at Medgar Evers College, and many others organized by on campus food activists.

On Sunday the 23rd, CUNY FoodFEST will take place at:

35 West 67th Street
New York, NY 10023

This event is funded by the William R. Kenan Leadership Scholars Program at CUNY.

Click here for the event website.

Dasi Fruchter is in her second year of organizing with the FoodFEST team. Currently in her final year at the Macaulay Honors College at Queens College, she is an Urban Studies and Media Studies student, with a specific interest in faith-based organizing, protest movements, and social media. On campus, Dasi is involved in interfaith work and social action activities, and was named a recipient of the Kenan Scholarship, a fellowship that rewards students with a demonstrated history in public service. Most recently, she was a fundraising intern at Kav LaOved, a worker’s rights organization based in Israel that gives legal advice and offers other support to vulnerable worker populations. Dasi is passionate about harnessing the power of faith-based communities to create meaningful change, food justice, making new discoveries about urban life, interacting with all types of people, and hosting delicious communal meals.

Lakshman Kalasapudi is a Macaulay Honors College senior 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 senior 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 senior 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.

Elizabeth Kelman is a junior in the Macaulay Honors College at City College. She is premed and majoring in Global Health, with a minor in Spanish. Elizabeth is passionate about food justice, particularly as it relates to health and environmental issues. On campus, she is President of the City Agriculture Network (through which she runs a community garden on 141st Street), Co-coordinator of the CCNY Honors peer mentoring program, and Communications Director of the Caduceus Premedical Society. At Macaulay, she represents her class to the Scholars Council and College Council, and is active on the Student Sustainability Task Force. Elizabeth is a William R. Kenan Leadership Scholar and is enrolled in the CUNY BACCALAUREATE for Unique and Interdisciplinary Studies.

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About Macaulay Honors College

The Class of 2014 is the tenth Macaulay Honors College class, and their admission marked the beginning of the college’s tenth anniversary celebrations. Founded in 2001 by Chancellor Matthew Goldstein, Macaulay Honors College has already become one of the nation’s leading honors colleges, offering an exceptional academic and co-curricular environment for future leaders of New York City—and beyond. Macaulay students enroll in one of seven CUNY senior colleges (Baruch, Brooklyn, City, Hunter, Lehman, Queens, or 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, Macaulay students are awarded a full-tuition merit scholarship, giving them the freedom to pursue their academic goals without financial burdens. Macaulay further enriches students’ academic experience by providing 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. For more information about Macaulay Honors College, see

Contact: Rich Dikeman, Director of Communications, 212-729-2928.