The Communal Lunch Project highlights the social function of food to address two issues disproportionately represented in the post-secondary student population: food insecurity and social isolation. Grounded in performance theory and food security theory, the project proposes another way of doing lunch on campus.
We believe that an inclusive, healthy, and sustainable food culture is one that includes opportunities for skill-building, knowledge production, local healthy food, and communal eating – it’s one that builds a culture of care. It is well-established that physical and mental health is supported by healthy eating habits. But our current campus food culture makes it difficult for students to prioritize eating as a nourishing pause during their busy days. Please read more here.
Our virtual cook-along program aims to provide access to local ingredients and space for students to connect with each other and develop food knowledge when they can’t be on campus. Our in-person campus community kitchen program launches in July 2022.
The project is funded by NSERC’s College and Community Social Innovation Fund. It is in partnership with Meal Exchange and in collaboration with Joshna Maharaj and has support from George Brown College’s Student Life.
Jennifer is a professor of English & Communications at George Brown College and the founder of the Communal Lunch Project. She is interested in the social function of food and the power of people eating together.
Top Three Spices:
Cumin, chilli, and cinnamon!
Joshna is a chef, author & activist who cares a lot about people’s relationship with food. She works to rebuild food systems in public institutions putting hospitality and sustainability as a top priority.
Favourite Kitchen Tool/Gadget:
My well-seasoned cast iron pan!
Sanjana is studying Computer Science at Lakehead University and enjoys connecting with students by talking about different recipes and food injustice.
Top Three Spices:
Red chilies, coriander powder, garam masala
Having grown up on a farm in rural India, Shimona is extremely passionate about food and working with marginalized communities. She has worked with Meal Exchange and studied nutrition at George Brown.
Favourite kitchen tool/gadget:
My tiny palette knife
Meal Exchange is a nationally registered charity that has inspired students to create change through food for over 25 years. By empowering students and creating spaces for student voices to be heard, facilitating collaboration and supporting campuses in creating innovative solutions, Meal Exchange acts as a catalyst to increase access to good food on campuses across the country.
Learn more about Meal Exchange here: www.mealexchange.com
Peerconnect Community is a student peer support service that connects George Brown students to resources and information and with each other. Under the three pillars of Well-Being, Inclusion and Good Food, Peerconnect offers a range of programs, events, and workshops aimed at supporting students in their personal and academic lives. See @gbcpeerconnect on IG for more information.