Ecumenical Campus Ministry teaches vegan recipes nearly, gives meals to college students


Claire Wells made vegan jambalaya and cornbread on Twitch on Thursday, February 25th.

The Ministry of Ecumenical Campus has added Real Food Live, a healthy and free food option for all parishioners, to its spring 2021 calendar. This year they have vegan options on the menu.

Christian Watkins, director and pastor of the campus, said ECM has always focused on making sure Kansas state students have a welcoming and inclusive space since the ministry began 70 years ago.

Amelia Richter, senior in biology and development, said Real Food Live emerged from a pre-covid program called Real Food Lunch that began at K-State a decade ago.

Due to the COVID-19 virus, the ministry feared that people might not have access to the food they needed and wanted to continue having an impact on people’s lives.

“One of the things we really thought about on purpose when COVID was a part of our everyday life was, ‘What do we want to keep? What are the essentials of ECM and what do we have to let go of? ‘”Said Wilkins.

“[Real Food Lunch] was a weekly community meal that focused on high quality food … specifically vegan foods, ”said Richter. “Vegan food is an opportunity to share this meal with people who have allergies or have different religious or dietary needs.”

Richter said Real Food Lunch was a core program for ECM and due to the pandemic, the group could no longer meet in person.

“We turned to this online format of Real Food Lunch, which we call Real Food Live. It’s designed to hold our favorite parts of it in place. We come together as a community, learn how to cook these healthy foods for us, and then eat a weekly basis for the people around us, ”said Richter.


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Drama Therapy PhD student and intern at RFL Coordinator, Claire Wells, provides step-by-step cooking instructions on Twitch. She creates an experience with her audience by responding to comments and asking questions while she cooks.

Watkins said that in addition to Wells as the coordinator who makes sure the pieces fit together, ECM also has a grocery rep when guest chefs arrive.

“It enables people from other countries in a cultural context to [to] Come and cook some food and then tell us about your background or why the food matters, ”Watkins said. “We’re not doing this just for fun, but because there’s a lot of food insecurity in Manhattan.”

Wells said they look forward to meeting safely in the future, but they enjoy that type of connection.

EMC hosts Real Food Live every Thursday at 6 p.m. Guest chef Soumya Biryani will teach the audience how to cook an Indian dish on March 4th.

Viewers can register at 904 Sunset Ave every Friday between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. to receive the prepared food.