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  • Sister Clare Josef-Maier

Why Hearth & Table?

We started our Hearth & Table program in Spring 2018. After attending the UO Hunger on Campus Listening Event that January, we knew we had to do something more to respond to student food insecurity. Food insecurity is partly not knowing where your next meal is coming from; it's also connected to the uncertainty many new adults feel in accessing and preparing food that targets wholesome nutrition and sustainable energy.

Hearth & Table is about making cooking accessible and fun. It's about feeding people. It's about buildling relationship and creating a community space that is safe and affirming.

What's a community kitchen?

Each night before the meal, we organize a "community kitchen," facilitated by Chef Ryan Josef-Maier, which includes 4-6 volunteers. Community kitchens are not formal cooking classes, but Chef Ryan provides the recipes, ingredients, tips, and support. It's a really fun thing to do with a few friends!

What about the meal?

The food we prepare is usually low on the food chain. We highlight ingredients we know students can find at the Student Food Pantry or inexpensively at the store, but we also try to be mindful of hospitality and to offer things that are more fun or special. Last year, our homemade chocolate truffles were a big hit!

The food is served family-style to round tables of 6-8 chairs. Come with friends or meet new friends here!

What if I'm not religious?

Our commitment is to fostering a space that feels safe and inviting for all students, regardless of religious affiliation or lack thereof. Hearth & Table is a ministry of Central Lutheran Church, but "ministry" here means a way we hope to serve our neighbors on campus. While we host Hearth & Table at the church because we have great facilities for it, there is no associated religious programming. If you have concerns or anxieties about coming into a church building, Sister Clare is always happy to answer any questions.

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