CoFed creates sustainable, student-run cafes & food stores at college campuses as an alternative to the typical fast food options offered.
Will junk food be a relic on college campuses? Maybe so: This summer, GOOD told you about CoFed, a training program and research institute founded to empower students to create ethically-sourced, community-run cafes on college campuses. Instead of fast food, students can grab healthy, organic, affordable alternatives. They're now working with eight schools: University of Washington, Oregon State University, Humboldt State, UC Davis, UC Santa Barbara, UC Berkeley, City College of San Francisco, and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.
CoFed Director Yontan Landau ( who co-founded the organization with Alex Stone) reports that check-ins with campuses have revealed amazing successes, "in many cases beyond what we could have guessed in such a short time." One school has a vice provost devoting staff time and a cafe space committed rent free, for example, while another is partnering with their local grocery co-op and has already raised several thousand dollars. The Berkeley Student Collective, the initial inspiration for CoFed's work and already a fully-student run food store, is opening its doors on Bancroft Avenue in November, and has already been attracting national press.
Over the next five years CoFed aims to train 1,000 student leaders, help create 35 sustainable food storefronts, and reach the "mouths and minds" of 700,000 college students. Heavy hitters like Michael Pollan and Bill McKibben have given their support. If you'd like to learn more about the program in your area, starting one of your own at your campus or if you have a few dollars to contribute to the cause, visit CoFed here.
Photo courtesy Berkeley Student Food Collective