Shawn Norris - Campus Pastor
For almost 20 years I've had the best job in the world. Serving students of many different faiths and backgrounds, each with their own sets of challenges and successes, has been an honor. To keep in touch with a former student, like Shantel (of Ramen Bowls) is the ultimate surprise. For us, Ikigai Noodle is the mark of true friendship and just as the concept of "ikigai" suggests, our reason for being.
My hope and vision for LCM and for Ikigai Noodle is to offer a space where youth are free to rest, eat, and explore their spiritual lives.
Shantel Grace - Ramen Bowls
Shawn and I go way back. In a NYC homeless shelter that feeds 1,000 people a day, Ikigai Noodle was born. (Neither of us knew it at the time, but 15 years later, here we are.)
The incredible employees of Ramen Bowls inspired us to take action and re-envision what a meal program could look like. Their passion is infectious.
Tim Grace - Ramen Bowls
Ramen has become a strong metaphor in my life. Humble ingredients turn into a memorable bowl.
It's a priviledge to make the noodles for Ikigai. I look forward to kitchens like this one making their way to campuses everywhere.
Jenna Gambale- (above)
Tyler Dennett- (right)
Jenna and Tyler are active community organizers and volunteers and happen to also work at Ramen Bowls. Their work with Food Not Bombs and their vision for a stronger community largely inspired Ikigai Noodle, a kitchen that is much less about charity and much more about solidarity.
What's your ikigai?
Just in case you've never seen the word before, "ikigai" is a Japanese concept meaning "a reason for being." It often requires a deep and lengthy search of self.
In other words, ikigai is your reason to wake up in the morning, a reason to enjoy life.
A $2 Donation provides a free bowl of fresh ramen and a drink to someone who may otherwise go without a meal.
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