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Point Park Globe

Point Park University's Student-Run Newspaper

Point Park Globe

Point Park University's Student-Run Newspaper

Point Park Globe

First campus community kitchen: The Nook

Photo by Michelangelo Pellis
The Nook, a new campus communal kitchen, by the seating area outside the Point Cafe on the second floor of Lawrence Hall.

Students may notice that there is a new addition to the Point Cafe seating area: The Nook Kitchen.


The Nook is Pioneer Pantry’s latest effort to support Point Park students food-wise. Students may be familiar with Pioneer Pantry from their produce pop-ups every month, where they bring in 500 pounds of fresh produce for students to help themselves to. 


Heather Starr Fiedler, Chair of the Department of Community Engagement and Leadership, runs the Pioneer Pantry. 


“We noticed last year there were a lot of produce items that weren’t being taken by students, and the answer was always that there’s nowhere to cook it or they didn’t know how,” Starr Fiedler said. 


The Nook is equipped with an airfryer, a microwave, a griddle, an array of kitchen utensils and a large fridge for students to take advantage of. 

The rules of the new communal kitchen, which is set to be cleaned by users. (Photo by Michelangelo Pellis)

Starr Fiedler’s idea for The Nook began last spring when she wrote “a small grant proposal” in order to acquire funding to get some kitchen equipment. She received $1,000 from The Junior League and was able to buy two sets of everything for the kitchen. 


According to the mission statement on their website, “The Junior League of Pittsburgh is an organization of women committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women and improving communities through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. Our purpose is exclusively educational and charitable. We reach out to women of all races, religions and national origins who demonstrate an interest in and commitment to voluntarism.” Starr Fiedler was unsure of the exact grant. 


Starr Fiedler worked with Keith Paylo in order to find the right spot to put everything. It was important to her that, whether it’s a commuter or a student who lives in the dorms, anyone can get the most out of The Nook. 


“We found that little nook in the point cafe seating area and we thought it would be the perfect place to make it a community aspect,” Starr Fiedler said. “We began just calling it the little nook and using that amongst ourselves to describe the space and it stuck.” 


The addition of The Nook Kitchen is one thing, but will students take advantage of it? 


“This is a good attempt at a solution to the cooking situation here, but it would probably work more if there were more of these kitchens around campus or in the dorm buildings,” said Lily Benz, a freshman dance major. “The meal plan makes it difficult to find convenient times to eat since you can only use one meal swipe a day in the cafe.” 


Kayla Atkinson, also a freshman dance major, said that it is hard to get meals together with her dance schedule during the week.


“I would definitely use the airfryer and the microwave; it’s hard getting meals together throughout the week, especially with the dance schedule,” said Kayla Atkinson, a freshman dance major. “The fridge is nice, but the communal milk is interesting.” 


Valeria Del-Cid, a freshman dance major, isn’t sure if she will take advantage of the space. 


“I live off campus, so I’m not sure if it will be convenient for me,” said Del-Cid. 


Starr Fiedler hopes that the fridge will allow for more food sharing opportunities in our campus community. 


For example, they were able to partner with Starbucks in Market Square through a student employee there to provide dozens of sandwiches to stock the fridge with for people to take. 


“The fridge will allow us to give access to more food to more people more often,” Starr Fiedler said.


This spring, The Pioneer Pantry hopes to provide students with the opportunity to take cooking classes. Classes would provide students with basic cooking skills and possibly even specified recipes. 


However students choose to use the space, the hope is that it will be respected and seen as a community asset to be taken care of. 

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