Truman and Sodexo Partnership Works to Bring More Local Foods to Campus

Since January 2011 Truman has had a local foods coordinator working on campus, a position currently occupied by Garrett Grider who is in the process of finishing his Truman degree.
As the local foods coordinator, Grider is responsible for overseeing the production of approximately six acres of fruits and vegetables at the University Farm. Additionally, he works to sell the produce on campus during the “Market on the Mall” every Wednesday, and also to the dining halls.

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Garrett Grider bags greens during the weekly Market on the Mall.

The local foods coordinator position is part of the larger “Farm-to-College as a Catalyst for Specialty Crop Production” project Truman has been cultivating since Fall 2010 through a grant from the USDA. The goal of the USDA grant was to promote the production of specialty crops, and Truman’s proposal was designed to build a demand and supply for locally grown food. So far this semester, Sodexo has purchased about $11,000 in locally grown products that have been served to the entire campus community as well as several catered events serving campus and the Kirksville community.

Funding for the project comes from the USDA grant, with matching support from the University and in-kind work. Due to the structure of the grant, technically Grider is an employee of Sodexo. The University contracts with the food service provider, which then uses the funding to hire a local foods coordinator. The grant, scheduled to run through March 2013, also allowed for two interns in Summer 2011 and three interns in Summer 2012.