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The Scarlet & Black

Local Foods Co-op introducing students to farmers

By Samira Sadeque

Serving the community and enhancing better communication between Grinnellians and townspeople has always been core to the College’s mission. What better way to do so than through a potluck? In an effort to help local farmers collaborate with the Grinnell community and make local food available to Grinnellians, the Local Food Buying Co-op is hosting a Local Food Potluck on Sunday May 8.

The Co-op has been a group on campus for about three years. This will be the second event that the group has hosted this year and the organizers are hoping to attract students, staff, faculty and alumni who are in town for the inauguration, according to Daniel Penny ’13, one of the group’s coordinators.

“We’re shooting for about 200 people,” Penny said.

The residents of Food House and EcoHouse will be cooking and helping at the event. Penny acknowledged that not everyone has access to cooking resources, so although people are encouraged to bring food in a traditional potluck format, it’s not required.

“We will [also] be accepting donations,” he said. “We are trying to raise funds so that we can cushion the operations of the co-op.”

Emily Stanfield ’12, another coordinator of Local Food Buying Co-op, said that the potluck is being hosted in order to get Grinnell College members interested in local food.

“I feel responsible to help Grinnell community to support local food, and Dining Services should see that as more of a priority,” she said. “We strongly believe that the Dining Hall is capable of working with local farmers.”

The Co-op does not operate over summer, and the town Farmer’s Market takes place only over summer, so the coordinators decided to host an event during the semester in order to raise awareness about the access that Grinnellians have to local food resources.

“It’s always nice to develop relationships with local farmers,” said Sarah Shaughnessy ’13, another coordinator of the organization.

There will be various options for all sorts of food preferences.

“We will keep the ingredients really local. We will have vegan, vegetarian options so that people with all sorts of dietary restrictions can enjoy the event,” she said.

Local food producers such as Grinnell Heritage Farm and Rebel’s Clove will be presenting their products at the event.

“It’s awesome to see where [the food] comes from, and what goes into its making,” Shaughnessy said. “Especially because I cook less since I came to college, the opportunity to know where my food comes from is nice.”

The event will be hosted on Sunday at 2 p.m., on the lawn between EcoHouse and Food House on East St. Tickets will be sold outside the Dining Hall for $3 and at the event for $5.

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