In the food movement, college students play a crucial role in engaging their campuses and communities. In 2013, more than 300 college campuses participated in Food Day, reaching approximately 100,000 students, dining hall workers, faculty, and campus leaders across the country. On-campus events ranged from cook-offs and movie screenings to debates, lectures, and conferences on everything from farmworker justice to junk-food marketing to animal welfare.
Why Colleges and Universities?
College campuses have always been incubators for social movements, and students, faculty, and administrators play an important role in building the momentum toward a better food system. Colleges and universities spend roughly $5 billion on food every year. By advocating for real food on campuses, colleges can leverage that purchasing power to improve the lives of consumers and producers, effectively nourish our communities and our planet, and improve the food system as a whole.
Making Food Policy Change on Campus with Real Food Challenge
Since 2011, Food Day has partnered with Real Food Challenge (RFC) to connect with campuses. RFC is a national, student-driven organization working to create a more just and sustainable food system. RFC's primary campaign seeks to shift $1 billion of existing university food spending to community-based, fair, and humane farms and food producers—what they call 'real food'— by 2020. With active campaigns on over 100 campuses and a network of tens of thousands of students, RFC connects, trains, and supports a new generation of food movement leaders.
Stay tuned by signing up for updates and register your event or activity on the national Food Day map: http://www.foodday.org/host_an_event. And be sure to check out the RFC Food Day page for more information.
Resources for Campuses
2014 Guide for Campus Organizers Find everything you need to bring Food Day to your campus including organizing strategies, event ideas and examples from Food Day 2012, and sample planning timelines.
One-Pager: Food Day on Campus Get a snapshot overview of how you can use Food Day on your campus to bring healthier food to your campus, and to unite your fellow students around issues that pervade our food system.
*New* Check out these great resources that Food Day partners at Bon Appétit Management Company put together to spread awareness of the pennies per pound that farmworkers earn for their hard work picking common produce items.
*New* October is Fair Trade Month. Food Day partner Fair Trade Campaigns has put together a series of educational resources to equip advocates looking to educate their schools and universities about the social, economic, and environmental benefits of Fair Trade.