Chopped or Flopped?

UMKC Chopped event left some students hungry for more


RobyLane Kelley/Roo News

Fruit snacks and a protein bar lined up to spell “chopped.”

RobyLane Kelley, Staff Writer

  UMKC held a “Chopped” event marketed towards helping students prepare meal plans, however some students, like freshman political science major Noah Fansler, left on an empty stomach. 

  On RooGroups, the March 2 event promotes that free food will be available at the event; however, their dinner was just their concept dessert. Students constructed concepts for an appetizer and entree using items available in the food pantry.  

  “It was sort of like ‘Chopped,’ but like if you squint. Like a blurry version,” Fansler said.

  Because the event was named after the famous TV show, students thought they might get to prepare dishes. Fansler went on to say that naming the event after the show was a “disservice” to the event. He added that calling it a meal-planning event would have been a more accurate name and still would interest students.

  Because of the nature of UMKC Chopped, students only prepared concept meals with foods available at the Roo Pantry. The event allowed students to learn about what is available through the on-campus food pantry and how to prepare meals using the donations. Fansler won with an elevated gummy snack dessert in the end.

  According to Taylor Blackmon, basic needs coordinator for the UMKC Office of Student Involvement, the event was organized to teach students that they don’t have to drain their bank accounts to eat tasty food.

  “One of the things I am hoping our students take away from the Chopped event is that creating with food can be fun, and can be done without spending all of your money,” Blackmon said.

  Fransler said he would be willing to pay a registration fee for the event if it meant he could cook his own meal. 

  “If we actually were able to cook things for a reasonable fee, and they would judge it, yeah, I would pay for that,” Fansler said. “I think that would be worthwhile.”

  Though he wished the event had mimicked the show “Chopped” and allowed students to cook, Fansler believes events like these are helpful to students like him. 

  “I think teaching people how to cook healthy things easily is really beneficial, especially on a college budget,” Fansler said. “You can make some really good food, just by understanding basic things.”

  Fansler enjoyed the event despite it not being what he expected. Blackmon assures that more events with the food pantry are in the works. Students can follow the food pantry on Instagram for information on future events.

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