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Organizations are Awesome: On College Campuses, CoFed Replaces Fast Food with Good Food

Research shows that fast food can cause cognitive difficulties that result in lower test scores. So why are college campuses serving it? Enter CoFed.

Last summer we told you about Yonatan Landau, who, as a UC Berkeley undergrad, was successful in mobilizing students to prevent the opening of a Panda Express on campus. Victory led to bigger goals, and Landau went on to co-found CoFed, which trains students to create ethically-sourced, community-run foodservice on college campuses. The youth-led organization has just launched national programs that will incubate student leadership on 20 campuses this summer to create edible classrooms educating their peers about sustainable food.

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Healthy Eating 101 With CoFed

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.

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