University community invited to join Aquidneck Food Challenge
Members of the University community are invited to join the annual Aquidneck Food Challenge, which encourages island residents to source their meals locally for one week during harvest season. Sponsored by Aquidneck Community Table, this year’s challenge runs from Saturday, Sept. 22 through Saturday, Sept. 29.
“The Aquidneck Food Challenge is an opportunity for the Salve community to join with others on Aquidneck Island to learn about our local farmers, fisheries and producers of local products and the importance of developing a sustainable local food system,” said Dr. Laura O’Toole, professor in the Department of Cultural, Environmental and Global Studies.
The food challenge asks participants to include a locally sourced ingredient in every meal. Throughout the week, Sodexo Dining Services will support participating students, faculty and staff by offering locally sourced menu items in the Miley cafeteria.
At Salve, the food challenge takes on special significance this year as the University focuses on civic action themes of the earth and non-violence. “The food challenge builds community at the same time that it fosters the development of responsible food citizens,” O’Toole said.
In addition, Aquidneck Community Table has partnered with several courses offered by the Department of Cultural, Environmental and Global Studies – such as O’Toole’s Food Matters class – to develop student projects that extend the work of the organization.
“We learn about where the gaps are in local food production and ways in which local farmers and entrepreneurs have begun to fill those gaps,” O’Toole said.
Registration for the food challenge is $20 and includes admission to the kickoff party; specially designed recipes, shopping lists and local food maps; and priority access to limited local food products like butter from Simmons Farm and salt from Newport Sea Salt.