“Cook, Serve, Eat, Clean!”
That is the mantra that is repeated at the beginning of every meeting at The Athens Vegan Cooking Workshop, or Vegan Cooking Club. The club is a collection of students who meet a few times each month to prepare and share a meal together. The meals always consist of a completely vegan menu, and this year,many of the meals will be gluten-free as well.
Participants meet in the basement of The United Campus Ministry building. The meals are open for students and community members who would like to help prepare and enjoy a nutritious and home-cooked meal.
The Vegan Cooking Workshop has been around for over ten years. The club used to be called, Conscious, and would meet in several locations around campus, but over time, it became the smaller and more refined group that it is today.
Moira Snuffer, a Senior sculpture student, is the president of the club. Snuffer, along with her team of veteran members, plan the menus, oversee food preparation, and orchestrate all other club activities.
The club has a dedicated group of members, but they also want to spread the word about what they do and try to get more participation from the student body by creating a friendly and welcoming environment. “I want to educate people, get people to want to take part and have a consistent group of people come,” said Snuffer.
The leaders also stress that this is not a “vegans only” club. In fact, most people who attend the meetings are not vegans, but are “vegan allies,” who support the cause and also enjoy tasty, healthy food.
“This isn’t just for vegans, it’s for anyone wants to be a part of a community and a family. It’s for everyone,” said Snuffer at the end of the meal.
This year, the club has joined forces with Gluten Free Alliance. By teaming up, the two clubs provide meals three times a month for those who want both vegan and gluten-free options.
It’s really difficult for vegetarians and vegans in the dining halls because sometimes things are mislabeled and something that is marked ‘vegan’ actually has meat or dairy in it. It’s frustrating,” said Junior photojournalism student Emma Howells, who has also been a member of the club since her freshman year.
All of the groceries that are needed for the meals are paid for by donations from those who attend the meetings. The group hopes that this year they will build a strong collective so that the club can continue on their mission.
The Vegan Cooking Workshop, in partnership with The Gluten Free Alliance, meets three times a month at 18 N. College St. The next meeting will be on September 27.