Brown bag cafe celebrates its first anniversary with a ‘birthday bash’

Posted on 16 April 2014 by admin

The event featured birthday cake, food and games designed around donated food.

brownbagstudentsBy: CASSIE KIBENS
Production Manager

Balloons, cake and games involving donated food took over the STLCC-Meramec Cafeteria Monday, April 7.

Brown Bag Cafe (BBC) celebrated its one-year anniversary in March, and to celebrate hosted a birthday bash. According to Debbie Corson, service learning coordinator, the event was to celebrate not just the birthday of the BBC, but to raise awareness too.

“The goal of the event was definitely two-fold,” Corson said. “Mainly to spread awareness, but also to celebrate a successful year, because it has been a successful year.”

Doris Durgins-Johnson, student assistance program specialist, believes the event helped to increase student awareness.

“I think more students are aware,” Durgins-Johnson said. “We achieved the goal of putting the word out there so that people will be aware that [the BBC] is available to them. If you’re here on campus and you’re hungry and you can’t afford the cafeteria, it’s a place you can come up and get a little something to tide you over.”

For the BBC, the past year has had its highs and lows. The BBC instituted an intake program to clarify the needs of students who use the BBC. The BBC also set up an adoption program where different departments on campus would adopt the BBC and raise money and food for it.

“This last year gave us an opportunity to work the kinks out,” Durgins-Johnson said. “Debbie helped us initiate the adoption process; where each month a department adopts us. Hopefully that will continue next year.”

Corson and Durgins-Johnson both said they want to expand the BBC more within the next year. Some ideas were to get the student clubs more involved and get the community more involved as well.

“The more people we have collaborating on how to keep this afloat, the better,” Durgins-Johnson said.

The BBC members will meet in May to review the year and try to come up with more ways to distribute more food. Corson said she wants to one day become a real, full-fledged food pantry.

“I had a nursing student come up to me one day and say that she uses it twice a week for lunches and that’s the way she affords enough gas to get to campus to take her classes,” Corson said. “And that just says it all to me. That’s the whole idea.”

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