Congratulations Kori, on winning the 2018 Marcel Côté Leadership in Community Service Award for 2018!
Strengthening community, fighting food insecurity, preparing delicious dishes and doing it all entirely sustainably — the People’s Republic of Delicious (PRD) is an alternative food collective at uOttawa serving free meals out of the kitchenette in the Déjà Vu space in Morisset Hall. Kori Liversage is a co-coordinator for the incredible team that dedicates their time and energy to creating weekly meals for the uOttawa community. Remarkably, they save and serve on average 50 pounds of food that would otherwise be in a dumpster, while serving lunch to upwards of 50 individuals every week.
Now in fourth year psychology, Kori was introduced to PRD by word of mouth at the end of first year. She recalls, “The people were super welcoming and warm-hearted, with everyone laughing, playing instruments and simply enjoying each other’s company.” Every week, they would rescue food from local grocery stores that would otherwise end up thrown out, and transform it into delicious meals. Kori could hardly wait to get involved and volunteer between her courses.
Though volunteering was initially a social outlet, it soon became much more for her. From starting as a general volunteer, she has now become one of the co-coordinators managing PRD’s activities and student volunteers. This lets her involve others in food security and food waste initiatives.She posts extracurricular volunteer placements for uOttawa students on the Community Engagement Navigator (accessible via uoZone), and links PRD’s volunteer needs to specific courses through the academic Community Service Learning (CSL) program, coordinated by the Michäelle Jean Centre for Global and Community Engagement.
Kori believes that everyone, regardless of background or program, can find a meaningful way to connect community engagement to his or her studies. “We use PRD as a way to educate students on different topics by giving workshops, sharing documentaries and providing a safe and inclusive space to discuss issues of interest. Every week I feel I learn something new about my peers, food waste, food security and the world at large.”
Kori’s ambition goes beyond what the great team at PRD is accomplishing here at uOttawa —she would like to see other PRD groups on campuses across Canada and expand the sustainable, delicious work they do with food. Without a doubt, for Kori, finding something you’re passionate about is both a cause and an effect of volunteering.
Photo: Kori Liversage (Left) with two other passionate People’s Republic of Delicious volunteers, Mark Slodki and Nadia Jam.
By: Charles Hinse-MacCulloch