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. However, 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 provided access to local ingredients and space for students to feel connected and develop food knowledge during the pandemic years. Our in-person campus community kitchen program launched in July 2022.
The first (2020-2023) and second projects (2023-2025) are funded by NSERC’s College and Community Social Innovation Fund. Our current project is in partnership with Concordia Food Coalition, a non-profit organization that brings together students, faculty, staff, and community groups to learn, teach, and incubate food projects for an environmentally sustainable, local, accessible, and democratic food system. We’re inspired by the work they’ve done to create and support initiatives that not only feed students but also facilitate experiential education, create inviting community spaces, and stimulate student engagement.
Jennifer is a professor teaching Food Studies Research Methods at George Brown College, a researcher trying to find innovative ways to change campus food culture, and the founder of the Communal Lunch Project. She is interested in the social function of food and the power of people cooking and eating together.
Milka is an Honours Bachelor of Food Studies student at George Brown College, where she is learning how to critically examine major societal, health, and environmental issues through a food lens. Milka hopes to be an agent of positive change in the food system
Kasyndra, a chef and food systems researcher and student at George Brown College in the Bachelor of Food Studies degree, is committed to leveraging the power of food as a force of change to foster equity, sustainability, and justice in our world.
Lumina is studying Human Environment at Concordia University. She’s been involved in multiple community organizations and is passionate about the development of socially and environmentally just food systems.
Shylah is a professionally trained chef and community organizer. Before becoming the Executive Director at Concordia Food Coalition, she cooked at the Hive Café Coop, coordinated CHNGR MTL and was the Project Manager of Local Food and Farm Cooperative.
Erik is a food activist and scholar specializing in participatory-action research aimed at enhancing campus and community foodscapes. He wrote his Ph.D. thesis on Building Food Sovereign Campuses and has co-founded several important food projects like The Concordia Food Coalition and CultivAction Solidarity Cooperative.