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Monday, March 04, 2024

Those who enjoy a plate of Krishna Lunch will have to pay an extra dollar for the hot vegetarian meal.

Last semester, a written survey was conducted, asking Krishna Lunch eaters to vote on raising the cost of food, adding a second serving station or using eco-friendly dishware.

About 2,000 surveys were passed out, and 747 participants replied.

The majority of those who filled out the survey agreed to raise the single plate donation to ,4, according to the Krishna Lunch Web site.

Daniella Otálora, senior journalism and sociology major, has been eating Krishna Lunch for the past three years.

"It's upsetting to have to pay more," Otálora said. However, the ,1 increase is understandable, since it is going toward reusable dishware, Otálora said.

"There is a price to being eco-friendly," she said, "and I'm willing to pay it."

Krishna Lunch serves about 700 plates a day, with some days reaching 1,000, said Kalakantha Das, Krishna temple president.

He hasn't seen any decrease in attendance since the donation increase. In fact, Das said last week they served about 300 to 400 more people than expected.

This is the first donation increase for the nonprofit organization in about five years. It has been a service provided for 35 years, Das said. For the first 30 years, Krishna lunch followed a motto of pay what you want, averaging 75 cents a plate, he said.

Das said it came to a point where what was being contributed couldn't really meet the costs of what was being cooked, and that's when the ,3 donation was implemented. Attendance at the lunch tripled and became far more popular, Das said.

To reward those who bring their own plate, cup and fork, they will get a quarter back, but they must have all three pieces, Das said. Starting this week, Krishna Lunch will serve some new menu items including spinach and chickpeas, macaroni and cheese, lentils and rice, and veggie burritos.

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"Krishna lunch is priceless," Das said. "We don't sell it, it's just a service that we do, and it's been an affectionate exchange for students and friends on campus."

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