An orange and blue sign on the Plaza of the Americas is a quiet reminder of the Hare Krishnas’ legacy at UF.
The group has been serving lunches on campus for nearly 50 years, and last Fall, they donated about $200,000 to renovate the plaza.
“Krishna Lunch Lane,” the metal plaque reads.
UF added the street sign as part of its renovation of Plaza of the Americas in the Fall, university spokesperson Steve Orlando said. Orlando didn’t know how much the sign cost.
The $2.2 million renovation project to the plaza was mainly funded by a private donation of $1.3 million from donors Herb and Catherine Yardley. Most of the rest of the money came from office of UF Chief Operating Officer Charlie Lane, according to Alligator archives.
The Hare Krishnas also gave a $200,000 donation for the renovation. The sign commemorates the donation and daily lunches they have served on campus since 1971, Orlando said.
Audrey Gonzalez whipped out her phone immediately after spotting the sign Monday.
Gonzalez, a UF business management senior, was driving with her friend past the Plaza of the Americas when she saw the sign and knew she had to post a photo of it on Snapchat. Her caption read, “Krishna lunch lane! Best thing UF has ever done with my tuition money.”
The 22-year-old said she has eaten Krishna lunches since her freshman year.
“It is the highlight of my week sometimes,” she said. “It’s some of my best memories just sitting in Plaza of the Americas hanging out with friends or just eating it by myself.”
Animesh Adhikasi, 20, a Santa Fe College computer science sophomore and Hare Krishna member, said the group contributed to the plaza’s renovation to continue its relationship with the university and its students.
The donation was partially funded by student lunch donations, which are about $5 per meal, he said. The lunches feed about 700 people a day, he said.
Adhikasi said he’s proud to see the Krishna Lunch Lane sign.
“For me personally, seeing Krishna lunch up there shows how Krishna lunch has touched so many people’s hearts and bellies,” he said.