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1,000 Strangers Had Dinner Together Last Week for Tallahassee’s “Longest Table Event”

People are interesting in the way that when there is a crisis or tragedy, no matter who we are, we come together. Although there is such a diverse group of students here at Florida State, we still manage to come together and bond over the fact that we go to one hell of a school. However, why does it have to take something negative to create something so positive? We should all come together more, sit with people we wouldn’t usually sit with and make an effort with each other just because we can.

Last year, Tallahassee held the first Longest Table Event, hosting over 400 people, in October 2015. This year, the table expanded, with more than 1,000 people coming out for the purest reason: to simply share a meal with other Tallahassee residents. The event’s purpose is to build strong relationships among our community.

Mayor Andrew Gillum expressed how diverse Tallahassee is, and what his hopes are for the event, “We wanted get people who don’t know each other to come together, break bread and have conversations.”

Courtesy: City Lab

There are so many different social atmospheres and types of people in Tallahassee. Florida State alone has 41,226 students enrolled, and there is no way to possibly know all of them. I meet new people every day thanks to the situations that college puts me in whether it be at Strozier, the gym or one of the many bars in town. Imagine if we actually took the time to purposely meet new people, and I don’t mean on Tinder. If we actually put our cell phones down and had conversations with each other, our school would be unconquered in a special sort of way.

The feedback from the event was so amazing last year that it became a Knight Cities Challenge winner of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. On top of being winners, the foundation gave us a grant of  $57,250 for the event this year. On this past Sunday, October 9th, Tallahassee held the third Longest Table event along FAMU way, but if you didn’t get a chance to come out this year don’t worry! There will be one in the near future. To learn more about the Longest Table or to donate, find them on Facebook @thelongesttable!

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