We're mobilizing young people to redefine real food and build a food system that benefits everyone.

Since 2008, we’ve been training and supporting students to lead campaigns and make Real Food product shifts on their campuses. To date, we’ve won commitments to local, sustainable, fair, and/or humane food sources at 80+ schools, amounting to $80+ million annually. Our Real Food Challenge program also maintains the Real Food Standards and equips students to monitor their school’s purchases with our Real Food Calculator.

Real Food Generation (the organization that encompasses both Real Food Challenge and our new movement, Uprooted & Rising) is also a founding member of the Real Meals Campaign, a groundbreaking, intergenerational coalition to oppose the sweetheart deals between the cafeteria corporations on our campuses and the Big Food corporations that lock out community producers.

Our Mission

Real Food Challenge leverages the power of youth and universities to create a healthy, fair, and green food system.

Our Vision

Real Food Challenge aims to shift $1 billion (20%) of existing university food budgets away from industrial farms and unhealthy food and towards local & community-based, fair, ecologically sound, and humane food sources—what we call Real Food—by 2020.

What is Real Food? >>

Our Principles

All of our work comes back to six core, guiding principles:

The Real Food Principle

Real Food encompasses a concern for producers, consumers, communities, and the earth. We use this term to recognize that both the food system and the food movement are complex and made up of several distinct sectors. "Real Food" represents a common ground where all relevant issues from human rights to environmental stewardship can converge.

The Movement Principle

We are part of a larger food movement, which itself is one facet of a global movement towards a just and sustainable world. We understand that true, lasting social change happens through social movements.

The Youth Principle

Young people and students are the driving force in this movement because of our collective ability to demand and achieve widespread structural and social change, particularly by holding our institutions accountable.

The Partnership Principle

Collaboration with food producers, food service workers, community groups, students, and other campus allies is critical for reaching our goals.

The "Roots of the Problem" Principle

Many of the problems of our food system are problems of oppression - historical and current. Our path to progress, therefore, requires dismantling oppression at all levels - personal, interpersonal, structural, and cultural.

The Participatory Principle

Believing the ends reflect the means, we seek a means that maximizes participatory planning, decision-making, and leadership structures within an intentional space where all voices are heard and respected.