Skip directly to content


We're taking action until our universities do.

on March 17, 2016

My name is Emily, and I am pledging to take action in the name of a more just and sustainable food system.

GO HERE to join Emily - pledge to take action for real food!

I’m currently a leader in the Ohio State Real Food campaign, but I’m also a new member of the RFC national Steering Committee--and if there’s anything I’ve learned over the past few weeks, it’s that this fight belongs to ALL of us! Here in Ohio, my own university is actively working to silence student voices and separate us from the community around us.

Letter to University Leadership from farmer, fishermen, and farmworker allies

on March 16, 2016

In February, we took unprecedented action calling on universities to commit to a real food economy. We marched. We rallied. We delivered piles of petitions, valentines, vegetables, and biscuits. We asked University Presidents from Washington state to Maine: will you continue to be part of the problem, or choose to be a part of the solution?

Our farmer, fishermen, and farmworker allies share our call for universities to take action for a real food system, in a powerful letter to university leadership:

Dear University Leaders**,

We are farmers, ranchers, fishers, and farmworkers who work

#NoGroundToLose - Real Food Action Report!

on February 25, 2016

In December, we united around a declaration that we have No Ground To Lose in the struggle for a just and sustainable food system. Family farmers can’t wait for it to become more convenient for our institutions to invest in them. Fishers and ranchers can’t wait either - their livelihoods are increasingly threatened by industry consolidation on land & sea. And none of us can wait for healthy, just food to be accessible for everyone.

We united around a call to action - and this month, the wave of action has been building on campuses from coast to coast:

(1) Yesterday, Ohio University students

A Call to Action!

on January 26, 2016
In December, UMass Amherst leader Anna Hankins shared this call to action informally, throughout the RFC network. There was big response -  student groups are diving in to take action on their campuses in Feburary, and join Regional Action TrainingsAre you in?

From Anna:

This May 2016 I will graduate with nearly $50,000 worth of debt and a degree in agriculture. I will have learned about soil chemistry, the basics of starting a farm, food policy, the farm bill.  And from what I’ve learned so far, our future is not one that will sustain us - unless we fight for it. We can’t lose any

"We need to build a better future" - Real Food UMaine Statement to Board of Trustees

on January 26, 2016

On Monday, January 25, members of Real Food UMaine made a powerful statement to their Board of Trustees, after passing out local, UMaine-grad-grown carrots to supporters in the meeting. Here is their statement:

Who we are: Real Food Umaine

My name is Currenn Mackie-Malcolm and the people you see holding locally-grown carrots are just a handful of supporters of a group called UMaine Real Food Challenge. The Real Food Challenge is student movement that works to build a truly nourishing food system through shifts in institutional purchasing.

Carrots of support as UMaine Real Food presents

Students Join the Fight for ‘Milk with Dignity’ -- Advocating for Human Rights in the Food System

on December 10, 2015

I met an incredible four year old on a small Vermont dairy farm this summer. She was babbling to herself; smiling without knowing it.  When her parents introduced her to me, she held her doll to her chest and looked down at her toes for a moment. In a moment, she was out the kitchen door, smiling her way across a lush green field behind the barn.

Stepping outside, we surveyed the three story barn, the large manure lagoon, the concrete milking room. And seeing the young girl on the other side of the pond, someone commented offhandedly, “I don’t think she has ever left the confines of this

18 Stellar Food Justice Organizations to support this #GivingTuesday

on November 30, 2015

Shovels. Flip-charts. Conference Calls. Travel. Meeting Rooms. Wheelbarrows. The work to build a just, resilient food system takes a lot of tools, time, and all of us, together!

This #GivingTuesday, Real Food Challenge is highlighting local grassroots organizations who we are lucky to call partners. Our collaboration, coalitions, and community with these organizations powers our work together toward a real food system.

We are highlighting partners who we have worked most closely with this year. Please add to the list, join our gratitude, and share your support for the movement to but a

Open Letter: Students against Fast Track and the TPP

on May 27, 2015

In response to the threat of the Trans-Pacific Partnership for a real food system, RFC has written an open letter to Congress, calling on them to oppose this harmful trade deal and the undemocratic "Fast Track" process for moving it through Congress.

We are asking you to sign up for a Thunderclap to release the letter on social media on June 3rd as part of a National Call-In Day, urging our representatives to oppose Fast Track and the TPP. It will also be delivered in person to Nancy Pelosi, Minority Leader in the House of Representatives.


Dear Members of Congress,

On behalf of

7 Things We Learned From a Massive Real Food Road Trip:

on October 1, 2014
1) Focus on that Contract! Focus on that Contract!
After years with Sodexo, the University of Vermont is opening up their contract for new bidders.  After some serious research and advocacy efforts by The Real Food Working Group on campus, badass real food focused language got put into the university's desired specs:
…mandates that whatever company takes over, they hit the university's commitment to 20% real food BEFORE 2020, provide invoices for the Calculator in digital format, offer culturally diverse food offerings, provide complete transparency on rebates ("kickbacks") from big food

From Summer to Fall -- young people take a stand

on September 11, 2014

This has been a hard summer.

Bombs flying and houses crumbling in Ukraine, Gaza, Iraq and Syria.  Our own streets militarized in Ferguson.  The continued drought in California.

But this summer we've also seen inspired young leaders confronting police brutality, war and climate change. For those of us concerned with the food system, the connections are evident:
...the racism of Ferguson reflected in the poverty wages of our food and farm workers.
...the engines of war reflected in the petrochemical sprays on our fields and the floating factories that trawl our oceans.

As we enter a new school