We’ve been posting a lot of individual success stories lately; but today, we thought we’d share a campus success program from Flathead Valley Community College (FVCC) in Kalispell.
MUS Wellness provides funding for initiatives that promote Wellness on a local, campus level. In the spring of 2014, a group of FVCC employees, including Chef Malcolm Orser, Dr. Heather Estrada, Human Resources Director Karen Glasser, and Campus Farm Manager Julian Cunningham came up with a brilliant idea for promoting more healthful eating on campus through a Farm to Café venture they named Food for Thought.
Food for Thought linked the FVCC campus farm with Eagles Nest Café, an on-campus café that is a popular choice for breakfast and lunch among employees. Each Wednesday during the summer of 2014, Chef Orser and employees at Eagles Nest Café provided a healthy, locally produced menu option featuring a fruit or vegetable from the campus farm. Examples of lunch specials included Spicy Oven Roasted Cherry Tomatoes with Tilapia, Roasted Red Pepper & Cauliflower Soup, and Salmon with Cucumber Mango Salsa served with a tangy Tomato, Cucumber, and Onion Salad. Other featured produce items included Swiss chard, peas, basil, and spring lettuce mix. Yum! And, as part of the Food for Thought program, employees could also save their meal receipt from lunch and receive a free item from the campus farm stand.
FVCC is fortunate to have an organic farm associated with its campus. Established in 2012, the farm serves as a learning laboratory for students in the FVCC Integrated Agriculture & Food Systems program. Organic vegetables from the farm are distributed through a community-supported agriculture (CSA) program and are sold at a farm stand on campus. Food for Thought provided an additional avenue for employees to access fresh produce, and perhaps more importantly, served as wonderful inspiration to eat more fresh veggies as Chef Orser demonstrated the delicious dishes that could be made using fresh farm produce! Nutrition information and recipes using the weekly featured item were also provided for participants.
Here’s what Karen Glasser had to say about the program:
“The link between our Campus Farm and the Eagles’ Nest Café was so successful that it has been proposed to be adopted as an annual event! Frequently, our Food for Thought day was sold out and generated more revenue for the café than any other weekday.”
Way to go FVCC!