After years of work by student leaders to connect their Aramark managers to local farms and fair food businesses, Aramark’s corporate office has now turned around and mandated that its employees cut all ties with students involved in Real Food Challenge. No more meetings; no more local food dinners; no more student research into real food purchasing.
Our response? “GET REAL, ARAMARK!”
We believe that as students–as tuition-payers, as (often captive) meal-plan holders, as members of our campus communities—we deserve to know where our food comes from. We deserve to have a voice in what types farms and food businesses our schools support. We have always believed that real change happens when everyone sits at the table together — from students and farmers to administrators, chefs and dining hall managers.
But, based on recent actions, we can only assume Aramark’s corporate leaders believe otherwise.
As the student movement for real food grows, university presidents and big food service companies alike are taking bold steps to advance the work. Upon signing the Real Food Campus Commitment, University of Vermont interim president John Bramley commented:
UVM can play an important role not just in educating students or researching the issues but actually seeking to be part of the solution – by how we feed the 15,000 members of our community. I am proud of the part UVM and its food providers are playing – and of the leadership role our students have taken – in this important initiative and global challenge.
Aramark is growing increasingly isolated. Shutting out students and ignoring the real food movement is simply not a winning business model.
The Real Food Admin Team