Local Food Champion
What is a local food champion?
A local food champion can be anyone who supports local food through purchasing, processing, cooking, consuming, and above all, advocating for local food and its numerous benefits. Eating local at UBCO has never been as easy and it’s the job of UBCO’s Local Food Coordinators to explain why it’s never been more important! In Sept 2021, UBCO piloted their Local Food Procurement Project to bring more locally grown food from the Okanagan to our campus community. Part of this project was creating a team of student local food champions, coordinated by two part-time student Work Study positions, but open to any other students interested in volunteering their time. Keep reading to get to know UBCO’s recently hired Local Food Coordinator Work Study positions for the 2022/23 academic year! The purpose of the Local Food Coordinators is to assist the Local Food Procurement Project in engaging students and raising their awareness of the importance of local food. Through a number of events and activities, the Local Food Coordinators will highlight the environmental, economic, and health and wellness benefits of eating locally. The Local Food Coordinators will form a network of local food supporters who will help promote, plan, and participate in local food initiatives across campus.
Why is this important?
Buying local food supports not only our local farmers, but the wider regional economy, because the farmers will spend their dollars onwards in the community.
By purchasing local food from small-scale organic farmers, we are helping them to conserve soil and water, protect habitats and biodiversity, and reduce the use of chemical sprays.
Choosing local food also helps address climate change by reducing food miles from transportation of food. Also, having the option of a local food supply increases our resilience to supply chain disruptions from climate change and other causes.
Health & Wellness
Local food has dozens of health benefits compared to non-local food, including higher nutrient content, fresher taste, and less contamination.
Be a local food supporter on campus!
Thanks to the Local Food Procurement Pilot Project, there is now a variety of local food available at UBCO. Eating these locally grown foods is a great way to support the community in an environmentally friendly way.
Local Food Coordinators
Contact the Local Food Coordinators by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. In your email, please include some information about yourself and your interest in working with local food at UBCO. From there, the Local Food Coordinators will connect you with something that aligns with your needs, whether that be working on a team with other students on a local food project or campaign, or working directly alongside the Local Food Coordinators, planning, hosting, and promoting local food events and activities.
The Food Hub
Located in the University Centre Building the Food Hub is UBCO’s new space for all things related to food! The Food Hub is a space where all community members can obtain adequate, accessible, nutritious and culturally appropriate food in a just and ecologically sound manner. Starting October 27th, come check out the Food Hub any day of the week from (insert hours of operation) and come visit the Local Food Coordinators on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9-12!
Get to know your local food champions 🙂
My name is Grace Kyle and I am in my 5th year of Earth and Environmental Science at UBCO. I grew up in Portland, Oregon, but spent lots of time visiting family across Canada. I am passionate about sustainable development, food systems, and geography. I have been working as the Local Food Coordinator since May 2021 and my position ends once I graduate in April 2022. My favorite activities to do in my free time are snowboarding, painting, swimming, and biking.
My name is Sierra Lammi and this is my first year as a master’s student in the Community Engagement, Social Change, and Equity stream of the IGS Program. I grew up in Minnesota in the US, but after finishing my undergraduate studies with a degree in Biology and Environmental Science, I spent several years working in conservation research and environmental education in places like Oregon, Washington, Minnesota, Wyoming, the Eastern Caribbean, and Alaska. I am incredibly passionate about the outdoors, sustainability, community-based work, and local food!