Courtesy of Sue Ahn '18

The Home Plate program has been working since 2015 to bring students and Ithaca families together for dinners.

November 1, 2018

Home Plate Program Connects Students and Ithaca Families for Home-Cooked Meals

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All students who live away from home will inevitably realize the value of a home-cooked meal.

Striving to connect the Cornell and Ithaca communities through regular dinners between local families and students, the Student Assembly City and Local Affairs Committee’s Home Plate Program strives to fulfill college students’ desires for home-cooked meals.

Since Home Plate’s founding in 2015, the committee recruits host families and students in the fall semester each year and sets up a dinner before the end of the semester.

“We want to start by at least one dinner this semester so people are meeting regularly with their host families by the spring semester,” said Samantha Lustig ’21, chair of the committee.

The number and frequency of dinners ultimately depends on the availability of the students and families. However, Home Plate checks in regularly to ensure the success of the program.

“It’s between the students and the families to figure out what dates work for them since everyone’s schedule is so different,” Lustig told The Sun. “We ask them to meet around three times a semester.”

The program just ended its student recruitment and is currently focusing on outreach to local families.

According to Lustig, Home Plate is recruiting host families through a variety of channels, including the Office of Off-Campus Living, local religious organizations and Cornell faculty, for their “connections to the community.” The program also handed out quarter cards in downtown Ithaca to find host families.

Lustig, who participated in the program with three suitemates last year, enjoyed her experience immensely. “We went to the house of a couple who used to work for Cornell,” she said. “I really loved it and we will be continuing with the same family this year.”

She hopes that this year’s program will continue to “bridge the gap between the Ithaca community and the Cornell community” and offer a “second home for students who live far from home.”

“This is one of the best ways to form personal relationships with people in our surrounding community,” Lustig added.