Evergreen to Sign "Real Food Challenge" April 22; Yes Men to Join Earth Day Campus Festivities

Olympia, (Wash) - On Earth Day, Wednesday, April 22nd, The Evergreen State College will sign the Real Food Campus Commitment, thereby committing the campus to source 28% of food for its dining program from local and sustainable vendors. Evergreen's President, Dr. Les Purce, will sign the commitment at 5pm in the Olympia Campus Longhouse, at a reception catered by Aramark, after which a conversation with international activists/pranksters/parodists, The Yes Men, will follow.

The Real Food Campus Commitment is part of the The Real Food Challenge-a national, student-led movement to steer college dining service vendors away from highly processed food and industrial farms with unfair labor and inhumane farming practices. The Campus Food Coalition at Evergreen led the campaign for better school food.

About The Real Food Challenge

The Real Food Challenge encourages U.S. college campuses to source 20% of their food or more from humane, fair, ecologically sound, local and community-based farms, ranches and manufacturers. Already at 25% real food, Evergreen and its dining services vendor, Aramark, have set a goal of annually procuring 28% real food by 2020.

Evergreen joins notable colleges already striving to meet the Real Food Challenge nationally, among them Johns Hopkins and Cornell. Evergreen will be the first public school in Washington State to make this commitment, and the second school that contracts with Aramark. Gonzaga University was the first school in Washington to join, and student leaders at Western Washington University and the University of Washington are campaigning for their universities to commit.

Evergreen Celebrates Earth Day

In addition to the Real Food Challenge, Evergreen, a college known for its commitment to sustainability, will host a student-led Earth Day festival from 12pm to 5pm Wednesday, April 22.

Activities will range from tours of The Organic Farm, aquaponics facilities, and shellfish garden to an open mic and acoustic performances in the Student Art Gallery. There will be baby lambs visiting from the Evergreen Sheep Club, and trail maintenance, mushroom inoculation, and Generation Waking Up workshops, among others. Aramark will be on hand with their 'real food' vendors to hand out free samples.

The Electronic Music Collective will DJ a dance party in the Longhouse from 7pm to 10pm.

For the full schedule, visit the Earthday event page.

Photo: SPP participant inmate learns about native plants. By Shauna Bittle. Courtesy of The Evergreen State College