VIDEO: 5 #CityCookingChallenge recipes you can make in your kitchen this summer

The video series combats food insecurities by cooking delicious food drive meals, one bag at a time


City College hosts Hunger Action Day every first Tuesday and third Monday of the month. Photo by Jesus Lopez

Jesus Lopez, Multimedia Journalist

Food insecurity is not an easy topic to bring up at the dinner table, even though one in three people in San Diego County is food insecure.

Jesus Lopez and #CityCookingChallenge
Jesus Lopez used apples from Hunger Action Day to make homemade apple pie. Picture of the apple pie by Jesus Lopez

Our past determines our present and our present is what shapes our future, therefore, taking the initiative to highlight an issue that at one point of my life was a topic at the dinner table became a personal project I was ready to tackle. 

As a current student of San Diego City College, taking part in Hunger Action Days and hosting #CityCookingChallenge became a bi-monthly fun experience that will continue as the Spring 2021 semester wraps up and summer semester starts. 

City College’s Hunger Action Day takes place every first Tuesday and third Monday of the month from 12-2 p.m. or until food runs out. It started as a response to having the campus food pantry closed following the COVID-19 shutdown in March 2020. Marciano Perez, dean of student affairs, had a decision to make – and he kept the pantry open drive-thru style. 

“This pandemic has enlightened and illuminated how much food insecurities we have in our community of students,” he said. 

Food is available for all students, classified professionals, faculty, and community members of City College. All participants must stay in their cars. Food will be loaded directly in the trunk or backseat of the vehicle by volunteers, according to the website.

Croque Monsieur
#CityCookingChallenge host Jesus Lopez teaches you how to make a toasty Croque Monsieur. Jesus Lopez Instagram photos

Food is happiness, love, culture, experience and much more. The action of cooking brings us together and I want to share with you my top five best #CityCookingChallenge dishes I have made this spring 2021 semester.

The videos can be viewed now on IGTV or will be released daily starting today on

Apple pie, my personal favorite thus far.
• The next contender would have to be the French-inspired croque monsieur – deliciously cheesy.
• Following that, southern-inspired home fries.
• If creamy soups are your thing, try this asparagus recipeit’s calorie-filled.
• And for the fancy folks, check out this pick-two style Panera-like tuna melt