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“Real Food” Commitment Challenge

November 15, 2012

In 2011 and 2012, The Minnesota Project helped metro-area Hmong farmers connect with Bon Appétit Management Company (BAMCO) chefs providing food service to Northwestern College (Café Bon Appétit) and Macalester College (Café Mac) – both in St. Paul. Macalester College recently signed the Real Food Campus Commitment.  In doing so, the college pledged to

“… buy 20% real food by 2020 and thereby use their tremendous purchasing power to support a healthy food system that strengthens local economies, respects human rights, ensures ecological sustainability, and facilitates community involvement and education.”

Through their Farm-to-Fork and sustainable seafood programs, Bon Appétit’s food service at Macalester already sources over 20% “real food”, and has set their goal to 30% by 2020.

Mee, Andrew and Bon Appetit Executive Chef at Macalester College

Macalester is the 10th college or university in the country to sign the Real Food Campus Commitment – a document driven by students concerned about the prevailing food system. Students aspire to a food system with social, economic and environmental justice; they want to see the faces of the farmers who grow their food, and believe that creating a regional food system and supporting local farmers is the right thing to do.

A national company started in 1987, BAMCO, chefs started with a commitment to source fresh, local fare, sustainable seafood and cage-free eggs. They’re also one of the first leading food service industries to engage in farmworker rights and climate change. Minnesota Twin City area Hmong farmers began selling fresh produce to BAMCO at Best Buy and Target in 2012.

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