The sixth annual Food Day, hosted by student-run food-activism club ETHOS, convened outside of Founders Hall on Friday afternoon and was met with nourishing food samples and plenty of sunshine, which catalyzed conversations between students and community members on the issues of sustainability and food justice. Bringing together campus groups with local businesses and regional activists, Food Day provides a unique opportunity for campus community members engage with others in service of furthering goals of environmental justice and ethical consumption.
“I think it’s really important to make connections with people interested in food inside the Bi-Co and also in the outside community,” said ETHOS member Amanda Friedman ’18. “It’s really good to have everyone in one place so we can talk about our values surrounding food and what kinds of things we like to do.”
Other Haverford players present at the event included E-haus, an intentional living community that promotes sustainable living, the Haverfarm, a campus agriculture product born out of an environmental studies class, and the Dining Center, which has been working to enact last spring’s Good Food Plenary Resolution (led by ETHOS) that aims to carve out 20% of the dining service’s budget for ethical, locally sourced, sustainable food items by the year 2020.
“You have a lot of food groups here, but you also have a couple of justice groups,” said E-haus member Demian Yoon ’17. “It’s a nice mix of both on-campus and off-campus presences, which you don’t [always] see at events here.”
The off-campus contingent included Mom’s Organic Market, a mid-Atlantic grocery store company that focuses on environmental protection and restoration; local, small-batch kombucha purveyor Baba’s Bucha; bakery Philly Bread; meal-delivery service Grateful Plate; nonprofit Urban Tree Connection, which transforms blighted urban spaces into safe and functional places for community interaction; and nearby Green Engine Coffee Company, which opened last year just a short walk from campus. Green Engine owner Zachary Morris said that his aim is to use the power of food and beverage to bring people together, especially around the kinds of goals being discussed at Food Day.
“I [wanted] to get people… buying into the message of food and beverage being inclusive in its very nature,” he said. “The idea that [when] you break bread with somebody, you’re not killing each other over it, is powerful. Coffee shops are one of the best venues to get people together over good food and beverage.” By representing Green Engine at a convergence of community members, Morris hopes to send the message that “we’re neighbors that have their ideas in mind.”
The members of ETHOS, who educate the community about “real,” local, sustainable, ethical food all year long via film screenings and other events, likewise enjoyed the event and shared hopes that the food fervor invigorated by Food Day will continue throughout the year.
-Michael Weber ’19
Photos by Caleb Eckert ’17