The Dinner Club that declares pay what you can afford

Yesterday Munchies Dinner Club was launched, serving food to students in Canterbury College and asking them to pay only what they can afford for a hot dinner. The initiative aims to make sure students don’t go home hungry.

Canterbury College is one of eight colleges that have put forward a proposal for the NUS Student Eats scheme, which aims to place sustainable food at the heart of colleges across the UK. Four of our Catering students formed a team to man the Dinner Club. Treating this project as a business, these four students have created a logo, chosen the Club name ‘Munchies’, and decided on advertising and product choices.

The head of Student Eats came to Canterbury College to inform the Catering students involved in the project about food production processes that have a large environmental impact, such as transporting products by plane which racks up air miles. This helped the students to understand the importance of using local, sustainable products to create food for the Dinner Club. Carrie Eeeles, Kent Gleaning Network Communicator, donated over 12kg of odd-shaped potatoes to the project which were used to create the potato wedges on offer at the Club. This was also served in sustainable packaging.

Serena Hosein, Level 2 Catering student and member of the Munchies Dinner Club, said: “This is a great opportunity to see how we can use gleaned products to create something that helps other students.”

Mickeal Spillett, Level 2 Catering student and member of the Munchies Dinner Club, said: “Everyone is really appreciative of the food we are able to provide from this project. It has been a really interesting experience and I’m glad I’ve been able to help the College community.”

A recent EKC Group report on student risk suggests that half of students in the Group sometimes, hardly ever or never receive a hot meal on the days that they attend College, this initiative aims to lower that number. NUS have donated some money towards the College for taking on this project which has resulted in a new display counter for the Catering department and some stalls for the Streetside Café.

Sally Romagnosi, Chef Lecturer at Canterbury College, said: “I used to teach about sustainability and I know how important projects like these are. I’ve loved the way the students have been so dedicated and it’s provided them with some great hands-on business skills.”

Keep an eye out for the next Munchies’ Dinner Club date on the Students’ Union Facebook page and Canterbury College’s Facebook page.

Why not take a look at our Catering courses.