Did someone say free farmer’s market? 

Eating healthy can be a struggle for students. The typical college student eats Ramen noodles, salty chips and many other unhealthy foods. Luckily for them, there are free options on campus to get fresh food. On Monday Sept. 12, 2022, there will be a free farmer’s market for students. It will take place from 1-3 p.m. It is located in the parking lot of Lutheran Campus Ministry-Crossroads which students can find next to the Earley Center for the Performing Arts building on campus. 

Once students arrive at the farmer’s market, they can expect to be greeted by someone who will ask for MAV card identification as the market is for students only. After confirmation, students will get in line and student volunteers will help hand food to students. When they reach the end of the line, there will be tables set up for students to learn more about the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and sign up sheets for students who have food insecurity and need meals. 

Assistant Director for Student Activities for Community Engagement, Karen Anderson, spoke on what kinds of foods will be available for students to grab. 

“Produce. We won’t know exactly until the night before,” said Anderson. “It really all depends on what Second Harvest Heartland has an abundance of because they are looking out for the enteric state of Minnesota.” 

Second Harvest Heartland is an organization that helps people get food if they are unable to. They work to end hunger through community partnerships. 

Students are also not obligated to grab all the food that is available. If a student has an allergy to a food that is provided, they can repurpose it.

“If people can’t use it, we just ask that they pass that food on to somebody that they know that can use it,” said Anderson. 

There are many other opportunities for students to get free food on campus if they cannot make it to the farmer’s market. The Campus Kitchen is an independent program that is sponsored by students at colleges and universities around the country. They work with the Community Engagement Office in the Students Activities Office and a combination of community partners. 

The Campus Kitchen gets large amounts of donations from places like Olive garden, Chipotle, and the University Dining Center. With how much food they get, they have to decide where it goes. One thing they have to make sure when distributing the food is that products are not past their expiration and making sure students have a well balanced meal. 

James Ziegeweid, spoke about some of the things that the Campus Kitchen gives food to students and his role as a Student Meal Planner. 

“As a meal planner, I divide out how much protein, soup, vegetables, and stuff like that that the individuals who will be receiving this food help are going to get,” said Ziegweid. “So mainly it’s dividing out the food planning where it’s going to go and allocating all of our different resources to ensure that we’re doing the best of our abilities.”

Header Photo: The autumn farmers market this upcoming Monday will provide fresh fruits and veggies for MSU students to combat food insecurity for try new produce. (Flickr Photo)

Write to Lauren Viska at Lauren.Viska@mnsu.edu

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