Family Dinner Club holds a seat for everyone 

Allie Bunn, Staff Writer

After weeks on end of eating the same dining commons meals, every college student craves a home cooked meal. This sentiment is exactly what inspired the Family Dinner Club’s beginnings. Rachael Todd, along with Kirstin Potts, Isabella Wood, Emma Silver and Tasha Loh, aim for Family Dinner club to serve as an outlet for cooking, food and fellowship on Westmont’s campus. 

Todd admits that “as a freshman, I was really homesick because my mom and I cooked a lot, and I talked with a lot of my friends who all felt the same way. We missed sitting with family at the dinner table and eating together.” The idea for a family dinner club started as a joke, but Todd and others soon realized that it would be an innovative and positive addition to student life, so the club was born. 

In its first year, the club has put on multiple big group events such as a starter night with appetizers including different types of chips and salsas. The club leaders also hold smaller group meetings to learn how to make new dishes together and plan big events around their budget. The learning is fun for Todd, who says, “Last night, the crew and I had a blast learning to make mac and cheese and brownies from scratch.” 

The club has ideas for many future events, including a potato themed event, Food Network based “Chopped” challenges and a chocolate making event with Dr. Reichwald, the club’s faculty advisor. One event in particular was a wild success … a make your own butter event with homemade bread made by Dr. Reichwald. 

Katherine Miller, an attendee at the event, says, “It was super interactive. I got to shake the butter in a cup and learned so much in a supportive environment while getting to know a new professor.”

Family Dinner Club hopes to create a safe space for students to come meet people and hold meaningful conversations. The Bible illustrates many instances of eating together, an act that intimately bonds communities, and the club aims to emulate this same sentiment by bringing students of different cultural backgrounds together. 

Along with having a faculty advisor from Germany, many of the club’s participants were raised eating different cuisines. From Hawaiian fresh fish to Asian cuisines, Todd comments, “Food has brought us together and highlighted the diverse aspects of every individual’s identity.” 

Todd hopes that the club will evolve over time with fundraisers, bake sales and cooking classes that strive to support students who don’t know how to cook, bringing them in and creating a family together. Family Dinner Club hopes to serve as a starting point for building connections, friendships and a familial atmosphere that is carried throughout campus. 

Todd encourages that “if someone from the club is alone in the DC, we can eat with them and not make this act be embarrassing or awkward but rather a normal occurrence.” Who knew the simple act of cooking could impact a community in profound ways?

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