Letters to the Editor: Group’s mistakes should not reflect on Sunday Cooks

In response to “Sunday Cooks return competition money” from the Nov. 4 issue of The Maroon

Dear editor,

I am writing to explain some details that were inaccurate and some that were not mentioned in “Sunday Cooks return competition money.” This is in no way a criticism of the journalist’s work on the article; every quotation attributed to me is accurate.

The three founding members of The Sunday Cooks, myself included, competed for the Green for Green sustainability competition sponsored by Loyola University Community Action Program and Loyola Association of Students of Sustainability.

We presented a plan to use the $5,000 to begin fundraising through canvassing to start a commercial composting business that would service Loyola and Tulane universities, as well as many other New Orleans food waste producers. Our presentation did not include spending the $5,000 directly towards composting at Loyola, but rather towards fundraising efforts, specifically canvassing, that was necessary in order to gain enough revenue to eventually buy the commercial composting machine at $150,000. We were voted first place by the sustainability committee and received our $5,000 prize money in the form of a grant check to Olympian Waste Management, not a student account.

As mentioned in the article, after consulting with the Gulf Restoration Network we found that door-to-door canvassing would not be an option for fundraising. During summer 2011, Olympian purchased a pasta machine to raise funds through selling dry goods. The dry goods sales simply replaced the canvassing efforts, with all revenue still going towards the eventual investment in the commercial composting machine. Our use of the money in no way conflicted with the rules of the grant contract we signed after receiving the prize money. At the time, we believed this was the best way to raise the money to accomplish our dream of reducing food waste in New Orleans.

The sustainability committee did not address this issue in their meetings; instead, we met with LUCAP and LASS to explain our reasoning and to negotiate a better solution. We decided to give the $5,000 to LUCAP and LASS because we agreed the money should be spent directly towards the composting services of NOLAGreenRoots and not on our long-term fundraising project. We realize now that our plan was not fully thought out and have rectified the situation by returning the money and by working with NOLAGreenRoots personally.

What I want to emphasize is that our proposal and the fundraising efforts of Olympian did not involve the school organization, The Sunday Cooks, and its services to students. The student organization, The Sunday Cooks, has always provided free of charge catering services to student organizations including LUCAP, as well as produced free food events and cooking classes that are open to all Loyola students. The Sunday Cooks tries to enrich the campus with free, quality food and should not be confused with Olympian Waste Management and the mistakes that were made in the past.


Christoph Dornemann

Mass communication senior