Meal Exchange Releases Campus Food Report Card


TORONTO — The first-ever Campus Food Report Card, released by Meal Exchange, indicates that five out of four university students want access to more local foods.

“This generation of post-secondary students see food differently than their parents did — they care about everything their food represents and have the power to fundamentally improve our food system”, says Anita Abraham, executive director of Meal Exchange. “Meal Exchange is excited to work with campus administrators, food services and students to increase access to and awareness of local food on campus.”

This report highlighting local food is a preview of the most comprehensive assessment of student satisfaction with the food at Ontario universities to date. Findings show that students want their campuses to support local farmers and producers.
The report card’s top-performing school is the University of Guelph — which makes significant efforts to advertise their local food initiatives to their students. Rounding out the Top 5 were Ryerson University, Queen’s University, Algoma University and Trent University. At top performers, such as the University of Guelph, local food accounts for approximately half of the school’s food budget. Other universities have room to grow, with a many reporting between 10 and 24 per cent of their food budget spent on local.

“This project demonstrates that local food choices are important to students and can serve as an important differentiator for universities that are leading the way in local food,” says Edward McDonnell, CEO of the Greenbelt Fund, which provided support for the survey. “We hope university administrators and foodservice providers will seize this opportunity to put even more local food on the menu and proudly promote Ontario food to their students.”

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