Meals to cost $1 at revamped UK cafe designed to fight food insecurity


A student gets a meal at Fusion in Erikson Hall on Friday, April 5, 2019, before it is turned into One Community Cafe in Lexington, Kentucky. Photo by Michael Clubb | Staff

Kernel News Desk

Fusion Café, located on the second floor of Erikson Hall, will be transitioned into ONE, a cafe that will provide $1 meals to enrolled students.

The shift to the $1 cafe comes just days after the conclusion of a hunger strike and campus building occupation that caused the university to address growing student concerns over food insecurity and diversity issues.

According to the press release announcing ONE, the cafe will offer “balanced, nutritious meals” to students who can present a valid student ID. Each meal will consist of an entrée and two sides. Vegan options will be available.

ONE will be open Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

“We are proud to offer this brand new concept on campus as it allows us to reduce hunger and food insecurity for our UK student community, so they can focus on what they do best,” said Pulkit Vigg, resident district manager for UK Dining, in the press release.

It’s unclear what will happen to Fusion Café and its previous offerings, but the press release encourages those who frequented Fusion to walk to nearby Einstein’s Brothers Bagels for all their coffee, breakfast and sandwich needs.

According to a widely circulated 2017 study that interviewed 2,000 students, 43 percent of UK students are food insecure and 19 percent of those surveyed reported being “hungry,” meaning they were severely food insecure. 

The study essentially defines food insecurity as not having enough funds to pay for both food and rent or an inability to afford a nutritious diet. University officials have publicly doubted the findings of the survey and will launch their own survey this month.