Taking the Real Food Challenge

Following a recent Plenary resolution, President Kim Benston signed a pledge that the College would move toward spending 20% of its food budget on ethical, local, sustainable food by the year 2020.

Last Tuesday during lunch, members of the campus community gathered in the Sunken Lounge of the Dining Center to celebrate the College’s Real Food Campus Commitment. The Real Food Challenge provides a framework for shifting an increasing proportion of dining resources at colleges and universities across the country toward community-based, fair, ecologically sound, and humane food sources. 

In front of gathered students, faculty, and staff, President Kim Benston officially signed the campus commitment, which pledges Haverford raise its allowance for local and ethically sourced food from 8% of its total food budget to 20% by the year 2020, alongside members of ETHOS, the student food-activism group that worked to propose and pass the Good Food Resolution at Spring Plenary.

“[This commitment] is very much in line with what we have been trying to do over the past few years, but just held to a higher standard,” says Associate Director of Dining Services Anthony Condo, who also signed the pledge on behalf of his office. “We have been serving local items, such as produce and meats, on occasion, fair trade items, such as coffee, and humane items, such as cage-free eggs. Now we are looking to add to these and make sure that the products meet the standards the Food Systems Working Group has agreed upon.”

Speakers at the signing included ETHOS’ Zoe McAlear ’16, Real Food Challenge Regional Field Officer Christina Ocampo, and Samantha Shain ’14, an original founder of ETHOS who has made her interest in sustainable food into a career. (She now works at Common Market, an organization that works to make the bounty of local farms accessible to communities and the institutions that serve them.)

To help celebrate Haverford’s Real Food Campus Commitment, Dining Services fed attendees at the event some delicious local fare, including a salad made from Haverfarm kale, goat cheese from nearby Fleetwood, Pa., and apples from an orchard that’s only 43 miles from campus.

Photos by Caleb Eckert ’17