For the past five years, the Health Promotion & Wellness unit of SF State and Associated Students have offered Gator Groceries, a campus program that distributes free food to students dealing with food insecurity.
Today, the two groups team up to present cooking demonstrations using alligator messages from recipes created by Nutrition students for Malcolm X Plaza.
The Gator Groceries cooking demos began last fall, when only a small number of quarantined students were back on campus.
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Every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, students a Gator Grocery Box in the Cesar Chavez Student Center. The box contains a mixture of perishable foods, dry goods and products.
But often a box full of random ingredients can be difficult to make meals with.
Mahisha Patel, an SF student who receives Gator Groceries, observed the demonstration with the box in hand.
“Last week I got sweet potatoes and I didn’t know what to do with them,” Patel said.
Nutrition student assistants Michell Martinez, Dany Gabis and Lundstrom team up to create quick, easy, and nutritional recipes to demonstrate based on Gator Groceries’ weekly distribution.
“When I come up with recipes, I see what I have and draw from my own culture or foods I like,” Martinez said. “I play with the flavors and see what goes well together.”
The first recipe of the semester used Gator Groceries to make a ramen stir-fry dish.
Students were even informed about custom adjustments for more flavor or protein, depending on preference.
“We help students who don’t have a lot of time. Maybe you don’t have a lot of cooking utensils, maybe you’re still learning how to cook,” Lundstrom said. “The next step is to help students feed themselves with food and how to feed themselves, because that helps students succeed in school.”
The next cooking demo by Gator Groceries will be held on September 29 at 1:30 PM in front of Malcolm X Plaza.