Full plates and holiday helpings

People in the Gallaudet Marketplace

Food Day activities overlap with lunchtime at the Marketplace cafeteria at Gallaudet. Photo by Rhea.

The nine students in my class “D.C. Farmers Markets: Apples and Access” took part in a packed Food Day celebration on the Gallaudet University campus in late October. I neglected to post about Food Day, unfortunately, thanks to the election hullabaloo. Quick recap: Barack Obama won with a final count of 332 electoral votes. (Mitt Romney won, too). The House and Senate retained their majorities.

Though I am not sure of the number of Hope Springs Farm cheese cubes or tiny cups of Kauffman’s cider we distributed on October 24, I do know that the fundraiser we launched that day will bring in $674 through online giving, checks, and a doubling pledge by Gallaudet President T. Alan Hurwitz. The funds will support the Holiday Helpings program at Bread for the City, a service center serving D.C. residents. It is an organization that I might have a tiny professional crush on.

My class of mostly second-year students and I could not have done this alone. We joined forces with a whole coalition of Gallaudet sponsors working on the Full Plate Project. The organizers of this project, which provides food to families in the immediate vicinity of the campus, contacted the general studies program when they saw my class was involved in a similar endeavor.

GSR 300, a senior capstone course taught by Dr. Joseph Kinner, was our partner for Food Day. I first got involved with Food Day in June, when I attended a meeting at the office of the spearheader, the Center for Science in the Public Interest. At that meeting, the organizer for D.C. projects mentioned great enthusiasm and prodigious plans at Gallaudet University. “Hey, I teach there!” I said. “Have you been talking to a guy named Joe Kinner, by any chance?” And the rest is history. Not quite as historically big as a nation’s first black president winning a second term, but it’s right up there in my book.

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