Mon. Aug 8th, 2022

It seems more than safe to acknowledge that Americans are fully engaged in a health trend. Organic produce, gluten-free, no GMOs, you name it, and this country will jump on the chance to try it out. The health craze is not just for the average health conscious person though. It is slowly, but surely, transcending all age groups and reaching people who are totally unaware of the whole lifestyle.
Recently, West Chester University has joined the phenomenon with its newest club, Slow Food.
Founded in September 2012 by seniors Jena Wood and Danielle Hamilton as part of a Capstone Project, Slow Food has just recently (April of this year to be exact) become an official organization. The current executive board members include President Lauren Ashley McCorkle, Vice President Tasha Buckley, Secretary Christine Farinella, and Treasurer Bobby Leonard. Dr. Lynn Monahan rounds out the team as primary faculty advisor.
Currently, the club is in the process of becoming part of the bigger branch, Slow Food USA. Slow Food USA is a national organization that strives to promote the “farm to table” lifestyle by educating people on local produce and ways to get involved and volunteer with local farmers and growers. Their slogan, “Good, clean, and fair” offers a quick perception of their in-depth and powerful mission. There are more than 170 local chapters and 40 campus chapters in cities all over the U.S., and even a branch in Philadelphia. Their website, www.slowfoodusa.org, offers chances to donate to the Slow Food cause, participate in local events, and even check out employment opportunities.
Nothing like this existed on campus before Slow Food was formed.The Student Dietetics Association had similar qualities, but was only open for nutrition majors. Slow Food was created to include all people who have a passion or interest for sustainable, local food. There are no requirements or rules to become a member. It is that relaxed, “come on your own terms” kind of attitude that melds perfectly into the Slow Food philosophy.
Vice President Tasha Buckley said of the club that it is all about good, happy vibes. It is that positive, “we are all in this together” kind of feeling that has attracted an eager and fervent group of students to join. The weekly meetings, which are held on Wednesdays at 6 p.m. in Brandywine Hall, take on a very democratic sensibility once they get underway. Members and executives become one in the same, and while healthy (and somewhat out-there) snacks like chia seeds are being distributed amongst the room, everybody contributes his or her ideas to what the club should participate in.
So far, Slow Food members have already viewed the 2012 documentary film, Hungry for Change, and have also gone apple picking at Highland Orchards. Later on throughout the year, Slow Food is planning to show more documentaries that relate to hunger issues, go on pumpkin picking excursions, and take walks to the local Grower’s Market and Artisan Exchange.
Since Slow Food is a relatively new club, it still has some obstacles to overcome in order to flourish. Unable to apply for a budget until next year, the club will have to rely on fundraisers to boost the monetary supply. These minor inconveniences aside, Slow Food has big plans for the immediate and not so immediate future. First and foremost, the executive board members want to spread awareness to the whole campus about the benefits of the lifestyle, and eventually build an entire Slow Food community at West Chester. It will all start with the little changes, like developing relationships with neighbors, farmers, growers, and the community. Being a member of the Slow Food community allows one to be a part of something bigger. The connections and friendships that can be gained are not only crucially valuable, but also innumerable.
If you are interested in becoming a member of the best new and sprouting club to hit WCU in years, then there is no doubt that Slow Food is the perfect fit. Sign up on OrgSync to get updates on everything from meeting times and places to event information. You can even “like” their page on Facebook.
As quickly as the health food craze has taken over America, it will surely stay around for many years to come. Joining in on the movement can be as simple as joining the new and incomparably vibrant Slow Food organization. And don’t worry, there’s always enough room at the table.
Rachel Alfiero is a first-year student majoring in communication studies. She can be reached at RA806657@wcupa.edu.
 

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