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The Loaded Ladle providing food security for Sexton Campus students

Posted by Solange Richer de Lafleche on November 21, 2023 in News
Volunteers from The Loaded Ladle pose for a photo before the morning rush.
Volunteers from The Loaded Ladle pose for a photo before the morning rush.

Have you been by the Idea Building on Tuesday and Thursday mornings? If so, you've probably seen The Loaded Ladle team hard at work making bagels and serving hot coffee and deliciously homemade snacks to our Sexton Campus students.

This past summer, The Loaded Ladle got an upgrade to their setup, making it easier for them to store and access their equipment during the week. With help from our woodshop supervisor, Regan Southcott, lockers were assembled and installed just down the hall from where they set up. 

Wanting to get the full story on this amazing initiative, we reached out to the Ladle's Campus Mobilization Coordinator, ÖYKÜ SÜ GULER. 

When did The Loaded Ladle start serving free breakfast at Dalhousie? On Sexton Campus?

The Breakfast Club is a collective effort between DSUSO (Dal Student Union Sustainability Office) and The Loaded Ladle - we have been providing consistent food servings (except for a shutdown when the first COVID outbreak happened) since 2019.

Before that, both DSUSO and Loaded Ladle did one-off servings/tabling on Sexton to provide free food and bring attention to campus food justice on Sexton campus.

What would you say is the biggest impact that this service has had on students?

I think the students would be better at answering this question, but I do think that 100+ busy students willing to wait in line twice a week says a lot about the need for affordable food on campus. Students should have access to food system's built-in care when attending university, especially with the cost of living increasing rapidly.

Currently, there are not a lot of venues for them to have a say in the food they eat on campus. As a society that is run by students who prioritize food systems in care, it has been wonderful to build a community around the Breakfast Club, and I hope it will lead to more student-led food on the Sexton Campus.

How important is it that The Loaded Ladle was able to get these lockers as storage? What provisions were you making before you got the lockers?

Before the storage lockers, all our equipment was in the society room upstairs - having the storage lockers on the same floor has been a great help. It has made setting up way more efficient! 

Previously we would have to go up to the second floor and pass by an area where students study to get to our equipment storage. It may not seem like much, but it adds up - especially when you're packing up and lugging all the equipment back after being on your feet and toasting bagels for two and a half hours. Plus, it's great that we don't have to worry about mice sniffing around our stuff! 

In the long run, having a permanent space on Sexton Campus would be great. We're still doing our dishes at the Melda Murray Center, refrigerating our stuff by the society lockers, and carrying baked goods from our kitchen on Studley. It would make serving students easier and would open up possibilities to serve different food options like hot meals. In the meantime, however, getting these lockers, having access to the Student Center, and receiving support from staff members on campus have been incredibly helpful.

Check out this great video from the team at The Loaded Ladle.