If you’ve ever found yourself on the fourth floor of the SSMU building around lunchtime, you’ve probably seen the seemingly endless line of bohemian yet stylish McGillians holding empty tupperwares. These would be students seeking cuisine from Midnight Kitchen, an organization that offers by donation vegan food every weekday at 12:30pm.
#SpoonTip: People start lining up well before noon, so get there early and bring some work to keep you busy
Midnight Kitchen is supremely drool-worthy. From hearty stews to flavorful cakes and breads, the food at MK attracts vegans and carnivores alike in numbers that can often surpass 200 people each day. Though the lineup may look daunting, it moves quickly, and the end result is warm, healthy, comfort food that is always more than worth it.
“The best part of Midnight Kitchen is that it’s free,” admits Audrey Carleton, a regular customer and vegan who often finds it hard to get vegan food at McGill. “It’s pretty much my favorite hidden gem on campus.” And are you even a McGill student if you pass up free food?
Though many cite MK’s pay-what-you-can model as a central reason for trudging up 4 floors (which, let’s be honest, is on the higher end of amount of stairs I will willingly walk up) to the serving line, the reality is that this is only partially true. $3.25 worth of student fees paid by all McGill students actually make MK possible. However, I personally think $3.25 is more than a bargain for an *entire semester* of free food.
This organization is more than just a delicious study break. Born out of the anti-globalization movement in 2002, Midnight Kitchen’s mission statement is to provide affordable and healthy food to a community that it believes often relies too heavily on mainstream capitalist food sources. It’s tenets of social and environmental integrity are an attractive alternative to large-scale, for profit campus food venues.
In addition to feeding McGill students on the daily, the organization also sponsors a variety of community projects that correspond with their own values. They provide subsidized catering, donations towards social projects, and sporadic summer garden parties. A major plus is that the cooking, preparation, and serving is all done by McGill students, both volunteers and paid positions.
If this hasn’t convinced you to stop by Midnight Kitchen for some yummy, environmentally-friendly, and healthy food, I don’t know what will. You’ll probably find me on the couches in the sitting area stuffing my face with lentil soup and apple bread.