Eat / Partner

The Greenhouse Initiative: The Veggie Box Program

This Cal Poly student-led group is rethinking the typical college diet by giving students access to local and ethically grown food.

The Greenhouse Initiative: The Veggie Box Program

Cal Poly’s motto is “Learn by Doing” and the students behind the Cal Poly Real Food Collaborative are doing just that. Their Vegetable Subscription Program offers students easy access to affordable produce; and at the same time, brings awareness to the local food system and what goes into a healthy, sustainable food system for all involved.

The Greenhouse Initiative: In 2017, we partnered with Sambazon to find students and student-led organizations around the nation that are putting in work to create change in their communities and ecosystems.

Tell us about Veggie Box Program? What is your mission?

Cal Poly Real Food Collaborative: The Veggie Box Program The Vegetable Subscription Program (VSP) was founded by the Cal Poly Real Food Collaborative to increase access to local and ethically sourced food. Cal Poly community members can sign up for a quarter-long subscription of fresh, seasonal veggies grown by the students, for the students, at the Cal Poly Organic Farm! We serve the campus community by offering it at an affordable price and donating a portion of vegetables to the on-campus food pantry, PULSE, each week. We are a student-run enterprise which is embodying the Cal Poly motto: “Learn by Doing.”

How do you see Veggie Box Program positively affecting future generations?

CPRFC: Aside from increasing access to “real food” for more people, the Vegetable Subscription Program has the potential to connect more people with the food production system on their campus, hopefully, increase awareness of local food production. We are not only working to provide easy access to healthy food at an affordable price but participating in the creation of a healthy and happy food system at Cal Poly and beyond!

How has Sambazon’s dedication to social entrepreneurship inspired you?

CPRFC: Sambazon has shown us that businesses can have genuine interests and goals that include a more socially and environmentally sustainable future!

What is one simple solution you believe people can implement in their lives to live a more sustainable life?

CPRFC: Don’t buy food from strangers! Well, try not to. Shake the hand of a farmer. Explore the impact of your consumer choices on your body and on the planet, and support local agriculture and small businesses who care about people and the planet.

What change can you make by the end of this school year that will have an impact on your campus?

CPRFC: Every quarter we increase our Cal Poly real foodie community through increased subscribers and excited club members. We hope to continue the expansion of the Vegetable Subscription Program and the Real Food Collaborative in order to spread the good word about real food, and include anyone that wants to be involved!

Follow the Cal Poly Real Food Collaborative on Facebook and on Instagram at @realfoodcollab.

Team Members: Abby Ahlgrim, Michaela Joerger, Jon Skrbina, Megan Jage, Anyssa Rodarte, Isabelle Harbert, Miranda Ellis, Joy Lieuallen, Jackie Opitz and Courtney Talbott


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