KSU will host potluck dinner for community

Kristen Traynor

Kent State will host a potluck dinner for the community at 7 p.m. Saturday at Eastway Center, as part of the Kent Community Dinner program.

All Together Now, Inc., a nonprofit organization, hosts a dinner each month around Kent to celebrate diversity and dialogue within the community.

Coordinator Laura Mazur said the group held its first community dinner in November 2005 and has continued it as an “opportunity to come together to share food and conversation.” She said the dinners were a tradition in the 1970s that the group decided to bring back.

Usually, the group asks participants to bring a food item to share. However, the university is providing all the food for this month’s event. Because of this, participants are asked to bring food or other grocery donations for Kent Social Services.

Jackie Parsons, executive director for the Kent Student Center and Dining Services, said food banks are in desperate need today, and she credited Mazur and the organization for coming up with the idea of collecting items for the cause.

“We are part of the community,” Parsons said. “I think we would always consider an opportunity to reach out to the community.”

Mazur said the organization is asking families to bring a full

grocery bag and students to bring a half to three-quarters full

plastic grocery bag of donations. These donations can include canned food items, peanut

butter, toilet tissue or toothpaste, as well as other nonperishable food items or toiletries. Mazur said the

organization asks that participants be as generous as they feel


She said the dinner is part of President Lester Lefton’s community initiatives that help the university get more involved in the community. She also said the organization received a city grant from the Celebrate Kent grant fund to go toward this and other dinners.

“We as a society have gotten separated from each other,” Mazur said.

She says society wants to reconnect and is searching for a way to connect again. These dinners provide an avenue to do just that.

Mazur said she thinks the dinners are important because they provide an avenue for people of different ages, races, ethnicities and backgrounds to get together and realize that they have more in common than they may have thought.

“We’re not whole until there are people from all walks of life,” she said.

Contact principal reporter Kristen Traynor at ktraynor @kent.edu.