Southside Food Pride gives students a taste of eating local initiative

Through a collaborative effort between the Southside residence assistants, Think Local Geneseo and Campus Auxiliary Services, Southside Food Pride shaped the way on-campus students perceive the origins of their food. The groups held the Food Pride event Wednesday Oct. 2 on the top floor of Red Jacket Dining Hall. The event featured raffles, prizes, giveaways and a chance to talk to local farmers and business owners.

“We want students to question where their food comes from and become more knowledgeable about the community outside of the campus,” said participant junior Holly Kandel, who is a resident assistant in Onondaga Hall, adding that the goal was to “spread awareness on campus about the local foods that are provided through CAS and available in the community.”

Kandel said the local eating movement has gained momentum recently, as Think Local Geneseo works to recognize and inspire the use of local foods around campus. Lately, even Campus Auxiliary Services has been taking part in the initiative and brandishing its local ingredients and products.

At the event, residence assistants and Think Local Geneseo founder senior Maddy Smith staged informative booths with various games, trivia and other materials to promote eating healthy foods that are locally produced.

“The overall goals of the program are to get people to eat healthy and to promote awareness about eating locally,” Kandel said.

At the event, students had a chance to meet with local farmers, including Donna Phillips from Phillips Organic Farm in Stafford, N.Y. At her stand, Phillips offered slices of homemade pumpkin bread that she baked that morning.

She also represented First Light Farm & Creamery out of Bethany, N.Y. by topping different slices of bread with the local goat cheese. Once Again Nut Butter representative Gael Orr also set up a table for the event, at which she explained the company's goals and hosted a “Guess the Nut” nut butter sampling game. Once Again is a local employee-owned business out of Nunda, N.Y. that offers a large variety of both organic and natural nut butters.

Volunteers also hosted a college-friendly recipe table, a “Local or Not?” guessing game, in which students could win raffle tickets for correctly guessing which products were grown or manufactured in the area, and local food and farming trivia that featured categories like “New York State Agriculture,” “Food System Facts,” “Seasonal Options” and “Is it Local?”