During the spring 2012 semester, the UHL Food Justice class discussed current developments in alternative food systems that are making healthy and fresh food more accessible. As part of the course activities, we took field trips to urban gardens and to the SAME Café
, located at Colfax and Race Street.
The SAME Café is a “pay what you can afford” café that serves fresh and healthy food. Its motto, “everyone, regardless of economic status, deserves the chance to eat healthy food while being treated with dignity. Good food for the Greater Good,” exemplifies their concern with making healthy food accessible to everyone. Currently there are only 25 “pay what you can afford” cafés in the United States. Patrons of the SAME Café can pay for their food or can exchange volunteer labor for their meal. There is no cash register, only a donation box (and a credit card swiper).
Every day the SAME Café offers two options of homemade salad, soup, and pizza using fresh, locally sourced ingredients. During our visit, the students in the Food Justice class shared a meal together. The owner of the SAME Café, Libby Birky, talked with the students and answered their questions. She told her own story as a special education teacher, talked about her experience volunteering in soup kitchens, and explained how she and her husband started the café. Afterwards the class helped wash dishes, sweep and mop the floors, and get the café ready for the next day.