Students Use Innovation Grant to Enhance Second Annual International Food Festival

LVC students attend the annual International Food Festival

Lebanon Valley College’s Global Education Club was one of several students or organizations to receive an inaugural President’s Student Innovation Fund Grant. The club’s president and vice-president, Hannah Reedy ’16 and Haley Patrick ’16, are using the grant to coordinate the second annual International Food Festival Thursday, April 7, in Lebegern Learning Commons of the Allan W. Mund College Center. The event will start at 4:30 p.m. and feature a wide variety of dishes and activities.

“With the additional funds we are able to spend more money on ingredients, purchase unique T-shirts, accommodate additional tables, and expand the program to the entire LVC community,” said Reedy, a global studies and politics dual major. 

Up to 30 tables will feature cuisine from different countries and takeaway recipe cards, which included authentic ingredients that are not always cheap or easy to come by. The grant enables genuine food preparation in greater quantity, as well as better signage and event decoration. 

The grant also provides an opportunity for a stronger educational focus to the event. The officers will visit each of the First-Year Experience courses to speak about the festival, the Global Education Club, and how culture can be represented through food. Generating interest in global studies and international affairs is one of the primary aims of the club, and the food festival is an enormous part of promoting that goal. 

“The College’s new strategic plan [Envision 2020] focuses on generating world-ready students, so we hope to contribute to that by exposing the campus to other cultures and delicacies through something we all love: free food!,” said Patrick, a business administration major. 

The event had its first run last year, when the Global Education Club was fairly new itself. A brainstorming session regarding how to establish a big activity to generate interest and education in world affairs led to the idea, and it proved to be an enormous success. Attendance was high enough that this year the event will take place in Lebegern and expand into the Underground to allow for more space. The aim is to turn the food festival into an annual event for future community members to enjoy and learn from year after year.

The festival will also feature posters and music from different countries, trivia, and a table to learn more about LVC’s Study Abroad Program. 

“I am super excited to be able to bring such an awesome event to LVC. Not only is the event beneficial to the campus, but many of the students and faculty members cooking have direct ties to the country they are cooking for. It is a way for them to celebrate their unique cultures in a festival environment,” said Reedy. 

Patrick expressed her excitement over the event, the wide variety of food, and the broader goal of promoting global education. “We aim to spark curiosity within our attendees to study abroad, travel abroad, or become more open minded to the different people we are sure to meet during our lifetimes. The world is such a diverse, interesting place and we can always keep learning about it!”