UCSB’s Student Food Collective plans to install a cooperative food service on campus, with locally produced lunches available by fall 2011.
In place of the current bimonthly food sales on campus, healthy food will be served from a solar-powered food cart daily.
With its ecologically and socially sound practices, the cart will be a model for sustainable food systems, according to the SFC’s executive director, Andrew Chang. He admits that buying locally is expensive at first but he wants UCSB students to create deeper relationships with the food they eat, in part by supporting local organic farmers, thereby keeping money within the community. The Isla Vista Co-op, stocked with local produce and environmentally friendly products, supplies the SFC with food items.
Though UCSB’s dining halls also provide local produce and endorse fair trade, Chang says their meals get expensive for students without meal plans. The SFC provides students with an affordable alternative—and better nutrition than the fast-food restaurants on campus can offer.
The SFC is UCSB’s branch of the Cooperative Food Empowerment Directive. CoFED is a Berkeley-based training program that helps students create community-run cafes on campus. Their goal is to start 35 food hubs like UCSB’s proposed food cart in the next five years, and projects are already planned for Humboldt State University, CalPoly San Luis Obispo, and UC Davis. To get the cart rolling, the SFC is accepting donations, with a goal of raising $5,000 by early 2011.