Organic food is sometimes expensive, and college students on a budget can find it difficult to afford the price of a healthy meal. Food for Thought Caf퀌� is trying to change that by offering healthy, organic food at affordable prices.
Located in the basement of the Smith Memorial Student Union Room 26, Food for Thought will host an open house today.
Attendees can enjoy an inexpensive meal and live jazz courtesy of associate professor of jazz studies Darrell Grant, whose students will be playing in the afternoon. Visitors can also take in a student artwork exhibit and receive information from organizations in attendance such as the Committee to Reestablish OSPIRG, Student’s for Unity, and the New Voters Project.
According to Dana Katz, education coordinator for the caf퀌�, “Food for Thought thinks that healthy food should be accessible to everyone … there should be a healthy complete meal for less then four dollars.”
Having opened only two years ago, the caf퀌� is still working hard to make their space a venue for student art and music. The caf퀌�’s board and staff are still working to alert students and the surrounding community that there is a place for inexpensive healthy food nearby.
Its basement location has positive and negative aspects. Katz said, “There’s a sense of community in here… it’s okay that it’s set apart, but it is a disadvantage for people who wish there were an alternative and don’t know about it.”
Erin Staples, a master’s student in the Public Health program who is working with Food for Thought for a community organizing class, explained the reasoning behind the open house, “One of the main objectives was to create more awareness on campus, because of where they’re located. A lot of people don’t know it exists, don’t know what its about and don’t know what kind of food they serve.”
“Food for Thought is not a vegetarian caf퀌�,” Katz said. “I think we’re just trying to bill ourselves as healthy, so people can take that anyway they want … people hear that we’re organic, local and seasonal, but healthy is what we’re trying to push.”
She said the caf퀌�, wanting to be inclusive for everyone, hopes eventually to serve meat. “Right now we’re just trying to find good sources for meat, because we obviously want organic, local and free-range.”
Food for Thought uses sustainable and locally grown food, buying some supplies from organic companies like the Upper Crust Bakery and Noris Dairy (which uses no pesticides, herbicides or hormones).
They’re also working with the “Student Garden Community” at PSU, who plan to grow herbs in one of the campus greenhouses for use in the caf퀌�’s kitchen.
“Food is just one way to raise awareness for the idea of sustainability and sustainable living,” said Katz.
Food for Thought is staying true to its motto, serving “food, art, and education” simultaneously.
The open house takes place today, Tuesday March 2, from 7:30 a.m. – 3 p.m.
For more information on Food for Thought, visit their Web site at www.fftcaf퀌�.org