As the food movement continues to grow and evolve, it’s important to recognize that policy makers are not the only ones affecting change in communities. Students have been involved in the food movement since its beginning, working toward building a more sustainable future directly on campus and around their communities.
The National Student Food Summit, organized by Meal Exchange, brings together students and food movement leaders from across Canada for a 3-day conference that engages youth on campus and community food issues. This year’s Summit is quickly approaching – taking place August 16th to 18th, 2013 at the University of Toronto’s Hart House.
Students participate in a number of sessions throughout the weekend, working alongside 40 food leaders from various sectors to develop strategies for food system improvement on campus. A few of this year’s speakers are Nick Saul (President and CEO at Community Food Centres Canada), Joshna Maharaj (chef, writer and activist), and Ralph Martin (Professor and Loblaw Chair in Sustainable Food Production).
Now in its tenth year, the Summit provides students with youth leadership development, networking opportunities, and a platform to share ideas and strategies, as well as a chance to learn from fellow students who are actively seeking to change their community’s food system. This year’s theme, “Cultivating Change on Campus,” was chosen to showcase the progressive work being done by students across the nation.
The four student innovators highlighted below will present their work during the Summit, giving attendees the opportunity to learn valuable insights in getting a campus project off the ground.
Rachel Morrison – Acadia University
Rachel and two other student researchers have worked on a food policy research project that provides policy recommendations for sustainable and healthy eating practices at Acadia University. Working in partnership with a variety of university stakeholders, Rachel and her colleagues identified key areas where availability of sustainable food could be increased.
Noah Margo Derme – McGill University
The McGill Food Systems Project (MFSP) is a collaborative initiative between students, professors, McGill Food and Dining Services, and the McGill Office of Sustainability. Using student research community engagement, and stakeholder collaboration, students involved with the MFSP work to maximize the environmental, social, and economic sustainability of McGill University’s food systems.
Alia Karim – Dalhousie University
The Loaded Ladle, a non-profit open cooperative of students and community members is dedicated to providing affordable, local, diverse, fresh, and healthy food to as many people as possible. The Loaded Ladle started as a levied society where students voted in a referendum to fund it, and has developed into a full-service kitchen.
Andrew McCallister – Ryerson University
Andrew has been a key player in getting the Good Food Co-op started at Ryerson over the past three years. Developed from a task force to identify food satisfaction amongst students, the Good Food Co-op is a structure to enhance Ryerson’s food system through the development of a non-profit and co-operatively owned (between Ryerson’s administration, staff, faculty, students and workers) food services alternative.
For more information or to purchase conference passes, please visit www.studentfoodsummit.ca.