Famished Flock to Fourth Annual Feast

On Tuesday, SMC's Eco Action Club presented the fourth Annual Feast, focusing on a local food theme. Funded by the Associated Students, the club provided pizza, salad, and drinks free of charge to all attendees. Volunteers from Sustainable Works, a non-profit environmental organization, assisted in the event along with SMC's Club Grow.

Large lines of hungry students forrmed before the starting time of 11:15 a.m., but moved quickly, creating an efficient atmosphere.

Food was donated from farmers markets in the Santa Monica area, along with pizza purchased from Bravo Pizzeria. Tables were set out across the Quad lawn, each with a mound of rich soil growing a small sapling to create a centerpiece.

The event provided many zero-waste stations, each featuring one bin for recyclable trash and one for compostable refuse. A volunteer was positioned at each to ensure correct disposal.

Genevieve Bertone, SMC's Sustainability Coordinator, took to a microphone and energized the crowd, leading cheers to support local food initiatives and also in appreciation of the AS.

"We really want to thank the AS for leading the way in terms of making our campus green," said Bertone.  

Afterward, a brief speech was presented by Dana Morgan, an SMC English Professor and Eco Action Club Adviser. Morgan outlined five reasons to eat locally, citing ecological, economical and moral imperatives.

"Fork by fork, we can change the system into what we want it to become," said Morgan.

Critical Brass, an L.A.-based swing-funk fusion band, played the event for the second year. The band features SMC astronomy professors Gary Fouts and Michael Schwartz. Spontaneous dancing erupted throughout their set, contributing to the lively feel of the event.

Every table displayed quotes on various statistics of American food. A frequently advertised statistic stated that the average American meal travels a total of 500 miles before reaching the consumer's plate. 

A few informative tables were set up behind the event, promoting local food. SMC's Club Grow called for support of a college garden in hopes of garnering support in order to break ground next spring semester. Sustainable Works held two tables, one in support of California grown wine and the other advertising information about the organization.

Uniqueah Miles, a nursing student at SMC who volunteers for Sustainable Works, considered the event a great success.

"We've had great turnouts every year, and this one is no different," said Miles.  

The Eco-Action Club meets every Thursday during the activity hour at the Center of Environmental and Urban Studies on 1744 Pearl Street.