WKU AID hosts ‘legit dinner’

Hannah Bushon

WKU’s chapter of Americans for Informed Democracy hosted “The Legit Dinner” Wednesday night to raise awareness about fair trade and locally-sourced food products.

The group hopes that with heightened awareness among the campus community, WKU will become the next sanctioned fair trade university in America, said Morganfield senior Charlie Harris, vice president of WKU AID.

The inspiration for the evening stemmed from the organization’s objective to spread information among students about local food sources, sustainability tactics and the international fair trade movement, Harris said.

The menu for the evening included a salad with ranch dressing, baked chicken, sweet potatoes, and ice cream with chocolate sauce. All food, including the butter and iced tea, were either from local farmers and producers, or from certified fair trade farmers, Harris said.

Matt Vaughan, a senior from Mexico, Mo., and WKU AID president, spoke of his desire to “know where our food comes from,” and indicated that many students feel the same.

“We are first and foremost an institute of higher education,” Vaughan said. “We believe that educational mandate shouldn’t end in the classroom, it should continue even into the dining halls.”

Vaughan explained how the fair trade movement also helps fights poverty and promote sustainability, because farmers must meet standards for environmental protection, and fair trade farmers are guaranteed fair wages for their products.

Tony King, who was a key player in organizing the evening’s event, said he was inspired by the 100-Mile dinner put on by WKU AID last year, where all the food served was from farms within one hundred miles of the university.

However, this year’s event was geared more towards fair trade, especially the push for WKU to be a fair trade university, King said.

“It’s all about supporting those who work and produce, especially local and those who are disadvantaged,” King said. “They need our support.”

King also emphasized that small actions result in big changes. And while buying fair trade items may be more expensive now, many people buying them will cause prices to fall.

Vaughan called Wednesday an exciting moment for the group, and a kick-off for fair trade events to come.