Conversation Café: Food Insecurity in a University Campus Community April 2



Please join us Friday, April 2, 2021; Noon-1:00 PM for Diversity & Social Justice Education’s Conversation Café.

Registration Link

 The featured speaker will be Dr. Johnell Bentz. The title of the presentation is “Food Insecurity in a University Campus Community"

Johnell Bentz is a faculty member in the Department of Special Education.  Her work focuses on Access and Opportunity for individuals with disabilities.  Over the course of her academic career, Dr. Bentz became aware of issues of food insecurity affecting students on campus.  Dr. Bentz is an active member of Community United Church of Christ, a progressive church located near campus.  Dr. Bentz and other church members, began a weekly, free dinner to address food insecurity among university students and people without permanent addresses. Dr. Bentz is the Manager of Jubilee Café, and collaborates with many community and university partners to assure the success of Jubilee Café.

Jubilee Café at Community United Church of Christ in Champaign, IL, has been serving a free weekly meal since October 2017. Since they began, the number of people served has increased each month. As of November 2020, Jubilee Café was serving an average of 68 guests per week.  They serve local community members, University of Illinois students, and individuals without a permanent address. Since March 16, 2020, Jubilee Café has been serving hot, homecooked To-Go meals.  The number of people coming to pick up meals has remained relatively the same as numbers prior to COVID-19.  They are working hard to serve guests during this difficult time. With monetary donations, they are able to continue serving the numbers of people served prior to COVID-19. From September 1 - November 30, 2020, Jubilee Café served 619 meals to university students, community members, and neighbors without permanent addresses. In addition to the hot, house-made meal, they also distribute pantry items. These items included canned protein sources, pasta, protein and granola bars, soup, snacks, hygiene kits, menstruation supplies, and cold weather items such as hats, gloves, and socks. In Dr. Johnell Bentz's presentation she will discuss the impetus for starting a weekly free meal and the challenges of continue to address food insecurity during a pandemic.

Conversation Café is part of the Office of Inclusion and Intercultural Relations (OIIR) Lunch on Us series. It is paid for, in part, by the Student Cultural Programming Fee.

Meal Ticket Information for all workshops:

While registering in Zoom, participants have their choice to a ticket from either Bevier Café, Krannert Intermezzo or no meal ticket. One meal ticket per event, per person. Meal tickets are provided to participants who have registered for Conversation Café.

Please contact DiversityEd at or (217) 265-5585 with any questions.