The founding members of Student Food Co. conducted a food access survey which found that about 40% of the UM student body is food insecure, or feel they do not have reliable access to affordable and nutritious food. Students indicated that the produce around campus is too expensive and that supermarkets in the area are difficult to reach without a car. In 2012, the Planet Blue Student Innovation Fund (PBSIF) awarded the students funding for a large-scale project to promote health and sustainability. Today, Student Food Co. is a nonprofit, student-run produce stand that sells fresh, affordable and consciously sourced produce on campus. Our mission is to make nutritious food accessible to all and to help the busy college student live sustainably, no pressure added.
Welcoming over 50 members in its first year, the Student Food Co. community is growing steadily in volunteers and resources. In addition to selling in Mason Hall every Wednesday and Thursday, we have launched a pre-order system, fund-raised for local charities, held educational events, and created five student teams that raise awareness about how our food habits impact the environment, society and personal well-being. Our sourcing focuses on seasonality to ensure the lowest-possible carbon emissions as our produce travels from farm to stand. By basing our business in a central location on campus, we hope to reduce the carbon footprint of students who once had to drive to find affordable produce in our local food desert. We are a part of the University of Michigan Sustainable Food Program (UMSFP) and we work closely with the Campus Farm, Frog Holler Distribution Company, and other local food sources to improve local food security and promote global environmental sustainability.
If you would like to learn more, get involved, stock your fridge with fresh fruits and veggies, or simply meet a few more friendly faces, come visit our team in Mason Hall where we sell every Wednesday and Thursday from 10:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.