Student Uses Original Artwork to Promote Food Resource Center: A Zine to Digest

Oftentimes there is a stigma attached to utilizing free resources, especially when it comes to food. Hamline has a hefty list of offices, departments, resources, etc. for students to keep up with. A student in the Food Resource center decided to create zines to combat these issues.


Ella Smith

This piece, titled “Sanctuary,” was created by Ella Smith for the Women’s Resource Center.

Sarah Sawyer, Reporter

Junior MJ Luna is the creator of the Food Resource Center (FRC) zine project. Luna first learned about zines through his roommate who had taken professor Allison Baker’s FYSem centered around zines. He would later go on to make his first zine for his final project. Luna went on to take Baker’s anti-capitalist zine course, joined the new zine club and now makes zines whenever possible. 

“They can be anything you want them to be; very malleable,” Luna said.

After joining, Luna began to work on zine ideas for the FRC. The first zine to come out was a descriptive piece giving basic details about the FRC, such as its location and purpose. However, there is still more to come. The next one to come out will address the stigma attached to the FRC and Luna plans to pull together journal articles on food insecurity. There is a recipe book, a video game style map and a one year anniversary zine all in the works. 

“When I think of how to spread information I make a zine,” Luna said, “It helps reach more students; very mobile.”

Along with the efficiency of the zine format, Luna also comments on the enjoyment that comes from the creative outlet 

“Zines are fun. Keep making art. You have to make bad art to make good art. Art takes time,” Luna said.

Ella Smith, an intern at the Women’s Resource Center and creator of the department’s zine, said that to gain perspective on how another department used art to promote valuable resources to students. Smith believes that having creative pieces tied to organizations brings students in and gets them to respond to the material. It’s important to make sure people know about the resources and it can be helpful to have a creative piece tied to the center. Smith’s advice for creating a zine for an organization is to keep things simple, focus on the main information and put it in the beginning, but still leave room for creativity. Unfortunately, the zine for the WRC’s had a bit of a rocky unexpected debut due to COVID-19. Keep an eye out for a release of physical copies of this valuable resource.

Black and white zine with a yellow sun and words saying “Love your body, we gonna start a revolution, and you say I’m a b— like it's a bad thing” from top to bottom. Various womens drawings are also integrated in the zine.
Coutesy of the Women’s Resource Center
This zine was made for the WRC by Ella Smith and Leea Biederman. (Ella Smith, Leea Biederman).

Frances Verner, 4th year student and experienced Food Resource Center (FRC) worker, spoke about how great original artwork is for engaging with students. 

“Art is more engaging than digital advertisement. It keeps us anchored, it’s what we need. As things get more corporate and information is depersonalized we need it[original and physical art].” Verner said. Verner made note of how the FRC was created for students. Any student qualifies and deserves to utilize what the FRC has to offer. She has worked with the FRC before the COVID-19 pandemic and was along for all the transitions the center has experienced this year.

Various zines and a photo come together to create a collage. Bold colors and different styles of art are used throughout the collage focused on the Womens Recource Center and the Food Resource Center.. Women, photographed and sketched are found in the pieces and various texts with sayings are pasted. Phases that are relevent include, “ she said no, babes can’t die, a bad situation.”
Cait Quinn
The Food Resource Center and Women’s Resource Center put together art and zines to advocate and educate the Hamline community on well-being. The creators of these pieces, (top left, photo by Cait Quinn) (top right, Ella Smith and Leea Biederman) (bottom Left, Jen England) (bottom middle, Sabrina Merritt) (bottom right, Ella Smith). (Cait Quinn, Ella Smith, Leea Biederman, Jen England, Sabrina Merritt).

“There’s something nice about picking your own stuff. [However] Having stuff online can be easier and less stigmatized,” Verner said about the transition to online ordering. The zine is “cute, well-made, and informative,” Verner said about the zine.

Make sure to stop by the FRC to get free groceries, toiletries, and to get a copy of an original zine.

art pamphlet with the words “Food Resource Center” and a backpack reading “FRC.”
Cait Quinn
Food Resource Center informational art pamphlet created by MJ Luna.