Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Perseverance and Rumbling Tummies: The Foodies Society is hungry for more

Photo courtesy UTSA Foodies Society

Justin Cantu stands 5 feet 2 inches tall. He wears a faded navy blue UTSA baseball cap and carries around an oversized backpack with his lunch box in hand. He’s an electrical engineering major — but he also has a fondness for culinary arts.

It all began in 2013 when Yuli Chang created the Foodies Society. Cantu has always been a member since the beginning, but this year he’s the president of the society.

His goals are big for the semester. He wishes to recruit more members, define the group’s presence on campus and find the proper kitchen facilities to host his weekly meetings. Each goal comes with its share of difficulties; however, finding the proper kitchen has ironically become the Foodies Society’s most challenging hurdle to overcome.

With limited resources, Cantu states that “being a food club at UTSA is kinda like an uphill battle.”

UTSA does not have a culinary program, so finding available kitchen space on campus is limited.

The UTSA Recreation Center offers demo kitchens for students, but at a cost.

The kitchens are available for rent at $40 per session, and only hold a limited number of students. Because the Foodies Society hosts weekly meetings, the cost is too much for the organization.

There are community centers that provide kitchen facilities for students in the dormitories on campus, however, they are off-limits for clubs or organizations to use.

Despite this hurdle, the Foodies Society continues to push through.

Justin, as well as the other officers, are looking at using community centers at off-campus dormitories. However, Cantu fears that off-campus meetings will negatively affect attendance since the average student prefers meeting on campus rather than off.

“The Foodies Society is a really good idea,” Cantu explains, “and it’s really great because it’s useful for a lot of people. But the resources are against us.”

The Foodies Society’s goals are challenges in themselves.

“Increasing attendance is a catch-22,” Cantu says. “Our kitchen can only hold so many people. Even though we want more attendance, we mainly don’t want to max out our capacity.” But without enough members, the group can’t participate in events because they lack manpower. With too many members, the group won’t have a facility large enough to host everyone.

It seems Foodies Society continues to meet the same issues in an endless loop.

But despite their unpromising options, the club remains hopeful because the members love it.

Their meetings are chaotic. Students shuffle in excitement around the stove as food sizzles. Others chat off to the side as the aroma from food takes over the room. The society is packed with self-proclaimed “foodies” who enjoy each other’s company.

Member Andy Pham believes, “It’s something to get your mind off of the school work, work-work, and from reality.” Gaby Rico enjoys the Foodies Society because she simply likes food, happily exclaiming, “I like to eat!”

However, Terralyn Wilburm has found a different reason to keep coming back. “It’s a great club that makes you aware about different culture and a really great way to learn recipes from different backgrounds.”

To top it off, the Foodies Society plans to volunteer at the San Antonio Food Bank sometime in the near future.

Despite the struggles, the Foodies Society continues to remain at a steady rhythm.

President Cantu will not stop until each meal is cooked and the foodies are left with full stomachs.

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