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Reportback from Knox College: Making Plans for Two-fold Change

on March 16, 2011

Helen Schnoes, a senior at Knox College, sent us this reportback last Sunday. Please enjoy!

Since the Real Food Road Trip visit to Knox College, we have continued to progress with initiatives and collaborations to improve food at Knox. Pre-existing projects towards implementing campus composting and addressing community food injustice continue to march forward.

Food and Justice in a Wintry Boston

on March 4, 2011

The Northeast Food and Justice Summit was the final act of an incredible month.  In February, the Real Food Challenge held five inspiring student-led Real Food Summits in all corners of our contry. 

Over 550 young people converged on Boston summit.  From as far as D.C. to northern Vermont, these young leaders were making incredible change in their communities--a spectrum that spanned from our nation's most elite universities to its impoverished urban centers.  

The message was simple.  As students and youth, we are powerful.

Reflections on the Road: Knox College

on January 24, 2011

Reflections on our first stop!

>>> Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois.

by Katie B.

>>> For more great updates, go to:

The list of upcoming field trips written on the chalkboard at the beginning of Knox College’s Food Systems class included a tour of Pioneer Seed Company (second-largest seed producer after Monsanto) and a trip to the John Deere museum. At the beginning of his lecture about the rise of agricultural technology in the late 19th century (we’re talking bundle-scythes and 30-horse-drawn combines, not a 7030 Premium Small-Frame John Deere tractor), the professor described a map: Des Moines to the west, St. Louis to the south, Chicago to the east. American Agricultural technologies developed within that triangle, and Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois is smackdab in the middle.

Katie's notes

Upon arriving at Knox, we were greeted by a student who quickly gave us the lay of the land. “Galesburg is pretty impoverished,” she explained, “there used to be a Maytag factory here, but there has been lots of unemployment since it closed.” We later learned of student research about food deserts in the community, a phenomenon that is not as commonly associated with small, rural towns. However, the student continued, “I came here from Massachusetts, thinking there would be nothing to do here so I would focus more on my school work. But there is so much happening in Knox and in the Galesburg community!”

Real Food Road Trip Stokes Student Activist Fires in the Midwest

on January 19, 2011


Read more about their adventures @

Northfield, MN—This January and February, two student-activist alumna will stop at eight midwest colleges to give student leadership workshops and real food presentations. Katie Blanchard (Carleton College ’10) & Katelyn Hale (Lewis & Clark College ’09) are hitting the road for student-led food justice with the Real Food Challenge (RFC), a national campaign and network empowering students for more just and sustainable food on campus.

All you ever wanted to know about campus food systems that no one ever told you

on December 22, 2010

Check out this great video of an RFC organizer talking with a class at University of Vermont all about sustainable food systems and how to make change on your campus.

UVM Food Systems Seminars Lecture: David Schwartz (P1) from UVM Continuing Education on Vimeo.

In case you don't have time to watch the whole thing, here's a little cheat sheet:

1-8: My story and Our Story (RFC's history)
8-15: Activity: Picturing Your Food System I
15-22: Food Service Companies: The Basics
22-36: Structural Problems: Labor, Vendor kickbacks
36-41: Structural Problems: "The Big Squeeze"
41-54: Picturing

Stories you haven't heard yet

on October 30, 2010

In case you thought you were alone, here's proof that you're not.   All around the country students and their partners are fighting for real food on campus, and beyond.  Here's a taste what folks in the RFC network are up to this semester:

What happens when your school's contract with Sodexo or Aramark or Chartwells is up?

  • Students at University of Central Florida, Mizzou, Western Washington University, and Carroll College in Montana are facing this same dilemma, and have decided that students deserve a voice in the process!  They're working with their university administrators to

Real Food Getting Hot Hot HOT in Orlando

on September 10, 2010

Florida kicked off the first of four Real Food Challenge leadership trainings around the country this summer. On August 11th, a group of student leaders from across the state and throughout the southeast and northeast region converged in Orlando for four days of sharing stories and skills for effective campus organizing around real food.

After traveling into town midday Wednesday, everyone gathered for introductions to the Real Food Challenge and each other, and explored the connected spokes of the Real food wheel.

From Providence College to the Northeast Student Leadership Training: One Student's Reflection

on September 8, 2010

My name is Kathleen Reside, and I'm a junior at Providence College, a campus contracted by Sodexo. I first heard about the Real Food Challenge at their conference at U Mass Amherst in 2009 as a freshman, and the information blew me away. The campus food system had been exposed, and although slightly overwhelmed, I felt like I had the power to change it.

I managed to convey my anger, disbelief and excitement about the food movement to Hollis, a friend at school, and the two of us enrolled in a course entitled, We Are What We Eat.

Real Food Challenge Co-Founders Awarded Echoing Green Fellowship

on June 22, 2010

The word is out.  Real Food Challenge co-founders David Schwartz and Anim Steel have been awarded a the highly competitive Echoing Green Fellowship--a seed fund for emerging social entrepreneurs.

This award is yet another testament to the growth of our movement and a wholesale endorsement of the RFC's innovative strategy--training the next generation of real food leaders while creating a major market shift in university food spending, $1 billion in 10 years.

With a background in economic development, Anim saw food and agriculture as a way to make a difference in both the US and Ghana,

Work at The Food Project! Deadline - June 15

on June 8, 2010

Interested in social justice, youth leaders, and sustainable agriculture? 

We have the job(s) for you!

The Food Project, a founding sponsor of the Real Food Challenge, is accepting applications for TWO Americorps VISTA positions.  One focuses on bringing real food into Boston Public Schools through the district's Farm to School initiative.  The other will develop and foster The Food Project's community engagement initiative.  Both are amazing opportunities!

See job descriptions and application information here.

Apply NOW!  The application deadline is JUNE 15, 2010.