The community blog, Middletown Patch, just released an article entitled, “Stock the Shelves or Make Some Soup,” demonstrating to Middletown residents how to volunteer their time at the Amazing Grace food pantry and St. Vincent de Paul soup kitchen.
Making a batch of sweet onion bread pudding at St. Vincent de Paul’s (photo credit: Middletown Patch).
Here on campus, food is a hot-button issue. Are we sustainable enough? Do we have enough gluten-free options? Why isn’t late night open later? Portion sizes are too small for the price. All-you-care-to-eat encourages waste. Why can’t I use my Middletown Cash everywhere?
If there is one thing Wesleyan students might agree on, it’s the need to have a diversity of food options beyond the standard fast food-esque dining halls typically associated with colleges.
At Amazing Grace and St. Vincent de Paul’s, food options have a slightly different connotation. These establishments run on donations and volunteers; the options, in this sense, come from the engagement of community members, for community members, and thus, are often limited.
Did you know that St. Vincent de Paul’s serves approximately 300 meals a day, 363 days a year, including service for Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner? Imagine a day at one of the smaller dining venues on campus…now imagine that all of the workers are volunteers, and that the food is made by such volunteers on the basis of donations from the community. Go a little further…imagine that this venue was open all but two days of the year, at every meal time of the day. You might realize how stressful working in the food industry is, and that to do so on a volunteer basis would pose another challenge to having enough staff to serve customers. Again, working with limits can be a challenging task.
Here at OCS, under the Housing & Hunger Program, students volunteer with Amazing Grace. Just last year Wesleyan students taught a cooking class at the food pantry using donated items. There is a community of students dedicated to working with Amazing Grace, so if you would like to engage with the group, be sure to send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
St. Vincent de Paul’s is located at 617 Main Street, while the Amazing Grace Food Pantry is located at 16 Stack Street.