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Siena Has Deep Roots in Sustainable Food

If you are tired of your regular meal routine of Casey’s and Lonnstrom, then consider mixing it up with Roots Café! Every Wednesday in Massry during free period from 12:30-1:30 p.m., a delicious and socially conscious lunch is being served for the Siena community. 

The lunches include a salad, entrée and dessert and are served to you by student volunteers in a restaurant-type setting. The meals are crafted each week by Siena Fresh’s chef Kelsey Kopczynski with the support of the Sr. Thea Bowman Center for Women. Often times the meals are influenced by global cuisine. For instance, on Sept. 26, lunch consisted of a tropical waters salad, a Cuban sandwich and a crema fritta. All the ingredients for the meals are fair-trade and organic in addition to being sourced locally so you can feel even better about eating the delicious food. Don’t eat meat? There are vegetarian options offered for all the dishes. The best part is that all of this only costs a meal swipe!

Beth DeAngelis, the director of the Sr. Thea Bowman Center, explained that Roots Café has now teamed up with the Sustainability Committee to “reduce waste and raise awareness of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.” They will also begin a program called Conflict Kitchen in partnership with the Refugee and Immigrant Support Services of Emmaus (RISSE). One Wednesday a month, the menu will reflect the cuisine of a highlighted country they are supporting. Local refugees and immigrants that are in the education programs at RISSE will also be joining the Siena community on that day to join in the meal. If you meet a guest on one of those days, DeAngelis encourages you to give them a warm welcome.

The students and staff love Roots Café with regulars coming every Wednesday. Eileen Fitzgerald ’20 stated, “I really enjoy their commitment to sustainably- sourced food and locally-sourced food. Not to mention, the food itself is super good!” This past week was my first time going to Roots Café but now I am hooked. The different pace from the typical food is a welcomed change and the food was so tasty there is no way I cannot come back. Ali Liguori ’19 explained, “I like the restaurant vibe. Also it’s only a meal swipe!” 

If Roots Café seems like something that you would enjoy, stop by one Wednesday and see what all the buzz is about. Menus for the week are posted regularly on the Digest as well as the Women’s Center Facebook page, www.facebook.com/sienawomenscenter.

If you want to do more than just eat at Roots, consider volunteering to serve during the lunch. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Nicole Alex at nt20alex@siena.edu. They are always looking for new people to join the team.