We're mobilizing young people to redefine real food and build a food system that benefits everyone.
The Real Food Challenge leverages the power of youth and universities to create a healthy, fair, and green food system.
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.
All of our work comes back to six core, guiding principles:
The Movement Principle
The Youth Principle
The Partnership Principle
The Multicultural Principle
The Participatory Principle
The Real Food Challenge began in 2007 when it was founded by a committed group of student activists, national food movement leaders, and higher education sustainability experts. Amidst growing movements for farmworker justice, international fair trade, student farms and gardens, and local food, Real Food Challenge launched as a means to amplify student voices and focus our collective efforts on real change in higher education and in the food industry.
With the support of the California Student Sustainability Coalition, The Food Project, and a number of other national partners, Real Food Challenge became an independent, self-funded program of The Food Project in 2008. Today, Real Food Challenge operates as a self-funded, fiscally sponsored project of TSNE MissionWorks.
Since its founding, Real Food Challenge has built a powerful network of hundreds of student leaders while educating and training tens of thousands of young people across the country. These students have won shifts of over $80 million in campus cafeteria dollars to local, ecologically sound, fair, and humane farms and food businesses.