I brought my own plate and spoon. Next to me is Kiru who is the brains behind this 7-year effort. She's a staff in USM and has been cooking vegetarian lunch at her home for distribution to students and staff based on donations. Not a single sen from USM.
I want to support their effort for many reasons. One is the spirit of volunteerism amongst the group of students who help with the cooking, distribution of food and washing. Another reason is health. Less meat is good for your health. 3rd reason is sustainability - no waste and less use of resources (as in raising animals for meet). And 4th, it is truly multi-cultural, multi-ethnic, multi-racial, multi-religion.
We talked about making a petition to the University to adopt a no meat day per week. We talked about encouraging the "diners" to bring their own reusable containers so as not to generate rubbish. But it needs to be come from them.
Most of all, we must start recognising and taking notice of the wonderful things being done by students and staff for the good of the community.
I was told that many students are very poor and this wholesome home-cooked meal is a welcomed relief for them.
I am guessing it is not entirely their fault that they didn't bring any reusable containers. Many just happen to bum into the free lunch corner after lecture. Perhaps we need to give more warning, or set definite dates and publicise it so that people can bring their own containers. We also talked of possibility of buying some Tupperware to be given out on loan to regular "customers". Those who were aware brought their own containers (below).