Sodexo Partners With 70 Universities to Host Largest Farmers Market @ Campuses Across America

Initiative Highlights Local Sourcing, Celebrates Fresh Produce and Promotes Nutrition During Partnership for a Healthier America’s Healthy Campus Week
Sep 19, 2019 10:00 AM ET
Largest Farmers Market @ Campuses Across America Celebrates Local Sourcing, Fresh Produce & Nutrition During Partnership for a Healthier America's Healthy Campus Week.

GAITHERSBURG, Md., September 19, 2019 /3BL Media/ – Today’s college students are more invested than ever in where their food comes from and what they are eating. Sodexo, one of the world’s largest university dining providers, is hosting the Largest Farmers Market @ Campuses Across America (#FreshMarkets) with 70 universities in 27 states to highlight local sourcing and fresh produce, and encourage healthy nutrition on campuses. The week-long event, September 20-27, 2019, coincides with Partnership for a Healthier America’s fifth-annual Healthy Campus Week (#HealthyCampus) aimed at making healthier choices easier for college students.

The markets bring locally sourced and other fresh produce to students and emphasize how they can easily add healthy food options to their diets. Research shows that 95 percent of college students fail to eat the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables.

“Our local farmers and artisan food producers are important partners in our efforts to serve the freshest ingredients to our university customers. Students care about who grows their food and where it is sourced,” said Satya Menard, CEO Schools & Universities, Sodexo. “We want to provide them with delicious fresh food to help them develop healthy eating habits for the rest of their lives, while supporting the local businesses and communities.”

Campus markets will include a wide variety of seasonal fruits and vegetables, beverages and other specialty items from local artisans and vendors. College and local community shoppers will have an opportunity to engage in interactive activities, including meeting local farmers, peddling a bike to make fresh smoothies, watching cooking demonstrations featuring plant-based foods, learning healthy eating tips from dietitians, and enjoying fresh food samples.

"The Partnership for a Healthier America is proud to have Sodexo's participation and support for Healthy Campus Week," said Nancy Roman, President and CEO of Partnership for a Healthier America. "Together, our organizations recognize the importance of raising awareness for healthier eating for college students and ensuring healthy options are widespread and available -- and Healthy Campus Week aims to do just that."

The farmers markets will offer affordable prices and students can use dining dollars at most locations. Proceeds and leftover produce from several farmers markets are donated to on-campus and local food banks.

Below are highlights of activities happening at some of the universities participating in The Largest Farmers Market @ Campuses Across America:

Tulane University (New Orleans, LA) will offer a wide selection of fresh produce and spotlight local farms from the Gulf South at its September 20 farmers market. In addition to a variety of local items, students will be able to purchase exotic fruit, and have all purchases chopped upon request. Students can use their meal plan dollars to shop and the market will feature the Tea Witch Café, a local vendor who will sell hot and iced herbal teas. Campus chef Jason Cope will provide a cooking demonstration with free samples and recipe cards while Registered Dietitian Kelsey Rosenbaum will offer tips on healthy eating and encourage students to try new fruits. Students can pick up freshly made guacamole at the avocado cart. 

University of Vermont (Burlington, VT), together with EcoReps students and UVM Dining, will host a September 25 farmers market featuring farmers from on-campus Catamount Farm and maple syrup from UVM Proctor Maple Research Center. Students will have an opportunity to meet the producers who supply campus dining halls, including Wilcox Ice Cream made from UVM CREAM’s dairy herd. Artisans will sell jams, honey, ciders, tortillas, cheese, and prepared foods. Students can taste local samples, learn tips from a cooking demo, enjoy yoga, and even jump on a smoothie bike. This market celebrates UVM’s commitment to sustainability through action, partnership, and education.

Howard University (Washington, DC), will celebrate its partnership with PHA in Healthy Campus Week during its September 25 farmers market, offering an array of fresh produce, information about the local farms from which it is sourced and samples of unique fruit. Campus Executive Chef Jackie Craig will provide a cooking demonstration and tasting incorporating many of the produce items. Dietetics students will host an information booth on behalf of the HU Department of Nutrition Sciences to discuss eating healthy on campus, while other student groups will educate their peers about sustainability topics, including composting and clean water. Community Foodworks will provide details about its farm share produce bundles, encouraging students to sign up for regular deliveries.

Gonzaga University (Spokane, WA) will bring LINC (Local Inland Northwest Co-op) farmers and their fresh produce to campus for its September 25 farmers market. Gonzaga and Sodexo collaborated with local Inland Northwest farmers to create a local food distribution network more than 5 years ago. Students and others will have the opportunity to purchase a “LINC Box” filled with an assortment of local produce and sign up for an ongoing subscription. The on-campus Marketplace store will feature locally-sourced foods and drinks, including kombucha on-tap, and Chef Jeremy Goldsmith, along with Registered Dietitian Hayden Thrasher, will provide a green smoothie-making demo, complete with samples. The farmers market will be paired with the University’s Local Bazaar Day, where students can purchase artisan products from local vendors.

Concordia University’s (Chicago, IL) September 25 farmers market will feature more than 85 fresh produce items along with information about the local farms where it is sourced. In honor of National Hispanic Heritage Month, Chef Josh Morris will prepare three varieties of salsas bottled to sell, along with samples and recipe cards, while campus dietitian Lela Fausze will provide tips on how to incorporate more produce into a healthy diet. Students can enjoy fruit pies and fresh bread prepared in the campus bakery. A portion of the proceeds will fund the Student Government Association and SGA representatives will be on hand to guide customers through the market

Northern Arizona University (Flagstaff, AZ) hosts six weekly Open Air Markets during the fall and spring semesters, including September 25, featuring fresh produce from about a dozen Arizona Farms and hand-crafted products from local businesses. Students can purchase a market basket filled with fresh produce and local foods, including specialties from local Flagstaff businesses such as Rysing Hy Hot Sauce or Tortilla Lady tortillas. The university also distributes bags of produce for students and employees participating in the Veggie Rx program, in which physicians write scripts for healthy eating. Students will celebrate NAU’s partnership with PHA in Healthy Campus Week by sampling recipes from Sodexo’s Mindful offerings at dining locations across campus on Mindful Monday and eating a variety of colorful produce and posting on social media for PHA’s #FNV Friday.

William & Mary (Williamsburg, VA), is partnering with KelRae Farm to sell fresh produce along with Williamsburg Farmers Market vendors for its September 25 farmers market; the partnership with KelRae extends to a program in which students plant and harvest seasonal produce at the farm that is used in campus dining. Students will have an opportunity to interact with farmers from KelRae, Morning Glori Farm and third-generation farmer John Brock of Bacon’s Castle Peanuts. American Culinary Foundation (ACF) chefs will sell baked goods made with all-natural ingredients to promote the ACF Apprenticeship Program. William & Mary Dining Services will host a Farm to Fork Dinner after the market.

Florida State University (Tallahassee, FL), a partner in PHA’s Healthy Campus Week, will host a farmers market on September 25 featuring produce from a local farm that supplies the same fresh, seasonal produce to Seminole Dining locations. FSU’s local adopted farm, Full Moon Apiary, will be selling its product, which is "made by happy bees," in bottles and honey sticks. Full Moon honey has received acclaim as a key ingredient in Florida State's nationally renowned Honey Fried Chicken recipe. Tallahassee's Chapman Produce Company also will join the farmers market with its fresh sweet potatoes, cherry tomatoes, strawberries, lemons and limes. Students will have an opportunity to chat with a campus dietitian and may donate items to the FSU Food for Thought Pantry that provides free food items to fellow ‘Noles. 

University of Pittsburgh (Pittsburgh, PA) will host a zero waste farmers market on September 26 with compostable paper products, utensils and compost bins with support from the Pitt Green Team student group. Students will have the opportunity to purchase fresh produce and meet local farmers from Ferris Farms. Several local vendors will offer their specialties, including Axel’s Pretzels, Revival Chili, La Palapa Mexican restaurant, The Pie Place scratch bakery and Salud juicery. Pitt’s Bike Cave will offer bicycle maintenance tips and repair services.



About Sodexo North America

Sodexo North America is part of a global, Fortune 500 company with a presence in 72 countries. Sodexo is a leading provider of integrated food, facilities management and other services that enhance organizational performance, contribute to local communities and improve quality of life for millions of customers in corporate, education, healthcare, senior living, sports and leisure, government and other environments daily. The company employs 160,000 people at 13,000 sites in all 50 U.S. states and Canada, and indirectly supports tens of thousands of additional jobs through its annual purchases of $19 billion in goods and services from small to large businesses. Sodexo is committed to supporting diversity and inclusion and safety, while upholding the highest standards of corporate responsibility and ethical business conduct. In support of local communities across the U.S., in 2018, Sodexo contributed over 159,500 in volunteer hours, and since 1996, the Stop Hunger Foundation has contributed nearly $34.5 million to help feed children in America impacted by hunger. To learn more about Sodexo, visit, and connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube.


About Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) 

PHA’s mission is to leverage the power of the private sector to bring lasting systemic changes that improve the food supply, increase healthy choices, increase physical activity and contribute to a culture of health. In 2010, PHA was created in conjunction with Former First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! effort. PHA identifies, accelerates and celebrates voluntary business practices that improve or increase choice or lead to new norms and behavior around food and physical activity. For more information about PHA, please and follow PHA on Twitter @PHAnews.