Regional Action Committee
The Regional Action Committee (RAC) consists of inspiring representatives from universities and colleges across Ontario. RAC members meet over regular conference calls to connect with students from across the province, boost inter-campus cooperation, set regional priorities, build a provincial network, and share resources with one another.
From seasoned activists to first year students, sustainability coordinators, and people who have a passion for the environment – everyone is welcome to participate in the Regional Action Committee and share their ideas with others. In gathering various levels of experience we have the opportunity to mentor and learn.
During the last Regional Action Committee conference call, participants identified the need for a regional campaign dealing with issues such as sustainable food options on campus. This space has been developed to help facilitate change in food purchasing policies at colleges and universities across the province.
Nationally, we worked with Meal Exchange to help make the National Student Food Summit a reality in August.
- Check out the Draft Student Food Charter that was created and let us know if you would like to participate in finalizing the Charter. Click here to learn more about that process.
To help facilitate this work towards local, sustainable food procurement on campuses nationally we are working with Meal Exchange to support internship positions for Campus Food Strategy Groups on canadian campuses. Apply here!
Food Service Providers
In Canada, there are three leading food service providers that cater to post-secondary institutions. All three companies are multinational corporations and operate in numerous countries around the world.
Some food service providers also maintain web portals for accessing information on cafeteria services at specific campuses, such as Aramark's Campus Dish and Chartwells' Dine on Campus network. Here, students can find more information about food options on their campus.
Accessing Your Food Contract
Food service providers gain access to campuses and hold exclusive rights on food services by signing multi-year agreements with members of campus administration. These forms of agreements are solidified as an exclusivity contract between the institution and the food service provider. The contract bounds the university or college to deal only with their company for all food and beverage needs. These contacts make it difficult for students to establish independent student-run food outlets, organize farmers markets, and integrate more sustainable food purchasing into existing cafeteria facilities.
To access the exclusivity contract on your campus, contact your local students’ union. Many students’ unions have these documents on file for organizing purposes. If your students’ union does not have a copy or the one on file is out-of-date, you will have to submit a request through the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA). For information on how to submit a FIPPA request, contact the informaiton and privacy department of your institution.
Food Movement Partners
As students, we’re not alone in fighting for more sustainable food on campus. Below is a list of some of the organizations that make up the good food movement:
Local Food Plus
National Farmers Union
Food Banks Canada
People's Food Policy Project
Organic Council of Ontario
National Farmers Union in Ontario
Since organizing food working groups on campus, students are winning victories to make their cafeteria more sustainable. Below are a number of case studies where students have proved that change is possible.
University of British Columbia: UBC Food Services has taken significant steps in greening their cafeteria facilities. Since establishing the UBC Food Systems Project there has been greater emphasis on local food production as well as waste reduction programs.
Queen's University: Housing & Hospitality Services launched a food services review upon the expiration of their exclusivity agreement with Sodexo. Visit their website for more information on the findings and to download the food services contract.
McGill University: The McGill Food Systems Project is a cooperative project between students, McGill Food and Dining Services and the McGill Office of Sustainability developed to use student research and community collaboration to improve food operations on campus.
University of Victoria: The UVic Food Guide is a series of goals and objectives created by university and community partners, aimed at making food services more sustainable. UVic Food Services is an internal department on campus that runs all food outlets independently of large food service providers.
University of Toronto: UofT is the first university in Canada to be Local Food Plus certified. Food & Beverage Services partnered with Local Food Plus to prioritize food grown in Ontario and support responsible farming practices.
Take Action & Get Involved
What do you think about food services on your campus? Send us your thoughts and help develop a strong regional campaign to bring sustainable food to campuses across Ontario! Feel free to contact us and get involved.
Projets en developpement durable
- Sustainable Campuses
- Sustainable High Schools
- Youth Action Gatherings
- Urban Sustainability
- Education Fund
- Sustainability Stream (blog)
- Via Rail