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My Visit to Peace Valley Farm

on March 5, 2012

By Celeste Berg, Williams College

“I used to not care, but now every living, breathing moment centers around the relationship we’ve built with Williams,” says Bill Stinson of nearby Peace Valley Farm. Although I’ve volunteered at Peace Valley a couple of fall mornings with my cross country team, motivation struck to pay the place an educational visit, and thus I found myself winding along muddy Treadwell Hollow Road to the picturesque yet desolate three acre farm. Sitting at the wood table in his rustic kitchen and clutching a ceramic mug of coffee, Bill Stinson described the modest beginning of his partnership with Williams. Transactions began in the 1980’s, but at this point in time Williams was merely a “dumping ground” for Stinson: he would offer the college leftover produce, and when proposition corresponded with institutional need, the exchange was beneficial for both parties. Today, a much more developed symbiotic relationship exists not only via sale and purchase, but also between Stinson and members of the college. In 1990, Peace Valley hosted its first intern from Williams, and since then, the farm has seen over 60 student interns during the summer months. Involvement has been multifaceted: students have stayed for various lengths of time, some residing with Stinson and his wife while they work the growing season, while others have served as liaisons between Williams College Dining Services and the cultivator, a rendition of the reputed “farm to table” experience. Indeed, Stinson credits these students, current director of Dining Services Bob Volpi, and his own personal efforts with fostering the relationship between his small farm and the high-powered organization of which we are a part.

           

Food Day Celebrations Continued Throughout the Week: More Highlights!

on October 31, 2011

A week ago, on October 24th, the nation celebrated Food Day and we saw over 225 campuses unite and spread the message about the importance of "real" food. This kicked off numerous events and even prompted entire Food Weeks to be celebrated on various campuses. Here are more highlights from events that lasted throughout last week.

 University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill | Johns Hopkins | University of Georgia, Athens Harvard | University of Scranton | Carleton College | Smith College

University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill 

Along with a Food Day film festival, UNC hosted a farmer's

Saint Mary’s College -- 1st College to Endorse the Real Food Commitment

on October 28, 2011
 
 
Tuesday, October 25th, Saint Mary’s College became the first college in the country to officially endorse the Real Food Commitment, a pledge to purchase at least 20 percent “real food” by 2020, increase transparency and engage more students and community members in the process. College President Carol Ann Mooney and Barry Bowles, director of dining services (Sodexo), signed the Commitment at  12 on Tuesday, October 25 in the Noble Family Dining Hall of the Student Center. Local media were in attendance.

THREE Ways to Celebrate Food Day

on October 24, 2011

Today is Food Day.  Student leaders on 220 campuses around the country are taking action.  Together, we're sending a powerful message--food justice can't wait.  We want real food now.  Want to get in on the fun?  Here's three easy ways:

1 - Join our National Photo Petition

 

Today we launch the phase of our effort: the GET REAL! Campaign.  The goal?  Get every College president in the U.S. to sign a Real Food Campus Commitment--a pledge to make real food a prioriy at their institution. 

Show your solidarity for this new campaign by joining our national photo petition. It's simple: add your

What's this new campaign about?

on October 23, 2011

(1) Read about the
Real Food Campus Commitment

(2) Learn how you can join the
Get Real! Campaign

(3) Use Food Day to educate your campus about it--dining managers, students, everyone!

On Food Day, October 24th, students on over 200 college campuses nation-wide spoke in one voice, calling--for a more just and sustainable food system. 

Food Day also marked a new phase in this student movement--the launch of our GET REAL! Campaign.
  This new campaign builds on over three years of powerful student action, including successes like these:

  • Western Washington

We Did It! Over 225 College Events Nationwide for FOOD Day 2011!

on October 19, 2011

Yesterday, over 225 campuses in 46 states and 4 countries united to celebrate the first ever FOOD Day and to fight for real food on their campuses! After months of dedication, passion, excitement and hard work, events across the nation highlighted the increasing need for a transformed food system in America, starting on college campuses. For its first year, this was an overwhelmingly great response and it truly reflects the desire of college students to be at the forefront of the food movement.

What's next? We are excited to have offically launched our Get Real! Campaign asking colleges and

Food Day Blog Series: The Ins and Outs of Planning a Food Week at UCSD

on September 23, 2011

Jessica Baltmanas is a guest blogger from University of California, San Diego and also a Campus Coordinator for Food Day! Below is the second post in a three part blog series leading up to October 24 in which she will walk us through her journey in the real food movement. Take a look at her first post here.

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Hi everyone! I hope planning your campus events has been progressing well and that you're enjoying the first days of Fall! There's been quite the progress in planning Food Day events at UC San Diego!

To contextualize the climate on my campus (literal and

New School Year, New Team: Keeping It Real

on September 23, 2011

Who's behind the Real Food Challenge?  Who's been planning the 6 regional trainingsthis summer?  Who's behind the big Food Day mobilization?  Who's your biggest ally in making real food change on your campus?

These guys:

Estefanía Narváez, Northeast Coordinator

 

Estefania graduated in December 2010 from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas, which she mobilized to become one of the first Fair Trade Universities in the country.Being born and raised in Ecuador nurtured her lifelong concern for justice.

Arrest Does Not Stop Food and Freedom Ride

on September 23, 2011

By Anim Steel via Civil Eats

When we took the Freedom Rides as inspiration, we didn’t actually expect to have a run-in with Mississippi police. Our journey, the Food and Freedom Ride, was about honoring the anniversary of a heroic journey while also drawing attention to one of the biggest issues facing our generation: the dearth of real food in our communities and the resulting health, environmental, and economic crises.

On Friday, August 5th, two days before the Food and Freedom Ride began, one of the riders, Courtney Oats, was arrested on a charge of “disorderly conduct” in her hometown of

MODERN DAY LAND RUSH FORCING THOUSANDS INTO GREATER POVERTY

on September 23, 2011

Oxfam calls for investigation into forced eviction of more than 20,000 Ugandans to make way for international company’s plantations

[Re-posted from Oxfam America]

                   
Washington, D.C.- The fast growing pace of land deals brokered around the world  often comes at the expense of poor communities who lose their homes and livelihoods – sometimes violently – with no prior consultation, compensation or means of appeal, says a new report released today by international relief and development organization Oxfam. 

In developing countries as many as 560 million acres of land, an area greater than the size of California, Texas, Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico and Wyoming combined, have been sold, leased or licensed in large-scale land deals since 2001, mostly by international investors, according to the report Land and Power.
 

Lack of transparency and secrecy that surrounds these deals makes it difficult to get exact figures but preliminary research suggests that half of these acquisitions are in Africa, and cover an area nearly the size of Germany. However, many of the deals are in fact ‘land grabs’ where the rights and needs of the people living on the land are ignored, leaving them homeless and without land to grow enough food to eat and make a living.
Video

[watch the video, right, for more]

“Land investment should be good news for people in poverty, but the frenetic scramble for land risks taking development in reverse,” said Raymond C. Offenheiser, President of Oxfam America. “Investors have increasingly set their sights on land often ignoring the people who live there and depend on it to survive.  This unprecedented drive is leaving many of the world’s poorest people worse, not better-off.”

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