Concordia Student-Run Food Groups Research Project

Funding Proposal


For over ten years, Concordia students have worked hard to improve the food practices on campus. In 2002, the Concordia Student Union members voted to discontinue the food service contract with Sodexho Marriott. The next year, Chartwells won the bid for the new food service contract and since then the food service quality did not improve. Fortunately, around the same time, students took initiatives to organize their own food services on campus. The People’s Potato was created and still continues to serve vegan meals to Concordia students. Today, there are about a dozen student-run food groups who provide nourishment for the body and mind. Not only do they feed Concordia students, they also provide internships, workshops and conferences. Students can learn about how food can be produced, processed and distributed in a socially responsible and environmentally sustainable manner. They can also receive affordable (even free), local, organic, vegan food from providers and producers on campus.

This year, Concordia is tendering a new food service contract. If history has taught us anything, the contract will be most likely be won by a multinational corporation. A major factor in the weighting of the bid is how much money the new provider will offer to Concordia for renovations. Therefore, the bidder with the most money to offer will be favored over a small, local business. Fortunately, student-run food providers are strengthening their position at Concordia. The Hive Café officially opened this year providing students with affordable, healthy food options.


The Current Project

The goal of the Concordia Student-Run Documentary Project is to continue documenting, researching and showcasing the outstanding student-run food projects at Concordia University. We are fulfilling this goal by providing an interactive web-based archive of student-run food groups on campus at It is important to keep proper archives of these organizations because students are transient; they eventually graduate from Concordia and in the process, they leave with the intuitional memory of these intuitions – including the struggles and success stories.

The long-term goal of the Concordia Student-Run Food Groups Documentary Project is to facilitate the development of a completely sustainable, closed loop, cooperative, student-run, food system at Concordia University and its surrounding communities. We also want to encourage Concordia students, staff and administration to make healthy, socially responsible food choices on campus by participating with the student-run food organizations on campus that are filling this need.

This project expands on the work of Concordia Food Coalition (CFC). The Concordia Food Coalition website lists the student-run food vendors, producers and distributers[iii] with about a paragraph of text about each organization. We are producing an array of videos about the student-run food groups at Concordia University including interviews with the members of these organizations and a short promotional video featuring the activities of the group. Once we have interviewed all of the student-run initiates, we will produce a feature length documentary video.

The website and feature length documentary will be useful for professors who teach about food politics, researchers who study sustainable food practices, current and future Concordia students as well as anyone who wants to learn about food sovereignty. We hope that these videos will demonstrate to the Concordia community and its surrounding communities how to develop socially and ecologically responsible food practices.

The project began in October 2014 and will continue until September 2015. Over this period of time, we will be able to capture the activities of each food group. In the winter, we will focus on the groups who distribute food to students, like The People’s Potato and the Hive. In the spring, we will focus on the activities of the groups who are preparing for growing food over the summer, like the Greenhouse. In the summer, we will focus on the groups that produce food on campus, like City Farm School.

We received a grant from the Sustainable Action Fund (SAF) to begin the project and we are currently looking for partners to help us continue to finance the project going forward. Partners can provide full or partial funding. The entire project will cost approximately $50 000, we are happy to take donations of any amount.



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