Skip directly to content

New Generation - Old Tradition

on December 19, 2013
The following is a message from Real Food Challenge Director, Anim Steel.
Dear Friend,
When you look at history, it’s striking how often social movements have revolved around food.
  • In 1791, British consumers boycotted slave grown sugar as Haitian slaves fought for their freedom. This led to the end of the transatlantic slave trade.
  • In 1930, Gandhi led millions of Indians to collect salt from the sea in disobedience of British salt laws.
  • In 1965, hundreds of farmworkers in California organized a national boycott of table grapes and secured fair wages and collective bargaining rights from growers.

What's this all to do with Real Food Challenge? Keep reading...or stop now to become a monthly contributor to RFC.

In 2008, the Real Food Challenge began mobilizing a new generation around a truth that is as hard as it is hidden: abusive working conditions and environmental degradation are still hallmarks of our food production. To make matters worse, our colleges and universities buy into this system, to the tune of $5 billion a year!
That’s why we, as young people, have dedicated ourselves to march along the paths paved by the Indian independence movement, California farmworkers, and so many of our ancestors.  
This past year:
  • We trained over 1,500 students at 200 schools to mobilize for real food on their campuses.
  • 9 new universities signed our Real Food Campus Commitment, which will shift over $55 million, annually, to local farms and fair food businesses.
  • Sodexo, the second largest cafeteria contractor in the world, signed our Supply Chain Transparency Agreement. We are now expanding negotiations with their two largest competitors.
There is tremendous energy for this movement. In the past two years alone, our team has nearly tripled in order to support new campaigns.
And now we are poised to win a campaign that will set real food goals for all 23 campuses in the California State University System, committing $25 million in annual purchasing to local and sustainable food. This is just one example of the work we will do in the next year with your support.
Anim Steel
Executive Director
p.s. Check out the photos below of some of our favorite moments of 2013!
~ ~ ~ ~
We trained:
Over 1,500 students have participated in our national summits, regional trainings,
and campus visits this past year.
Workshop at Breaking Ground 2013 Summit in Baltimore, MD
A strategy session at Florida State University during our Aramark Southeast Road trip.
We took action:
Students petitioned, organized, and negotiated with administrators
for real food on their campuses.
Students participate in our national photo petition during Food Day, a national day of action.
Our 200-person march for farmworker justice in solidarity with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers. 
We are winning...
9 new campuses committed to sourcing
at least 20% real food by 2020.
University of Massachusetts-Amherst's Chancellor Subaswamy signs a multi-million 'real food' purchasing commitment as student organizers look on.
…and this is just the beginning!
Your donation is tax deductible. Real Food Challenge is a program of Real Food Generation, a fiscally-sponsored project of Third Sector New England (a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization).