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Campus Food Revolution Heats Up with Summer 2011 Trainings for Student Food Co-op Leaders

May 5, 2011

Campus Food Revolution Heats Up with Summer 2011 Trainings for Student Food Co-op Leaders

Summer 2011 series of regional leadership trainings for college students to incubate and empower the next wave of student food cooperatives on college campuses across the US!

For Immediate Release – May 3, 2011

A food revolution continues to simmer in higher education, as students from college campuses through out the country will be trained this summer to launch student-run food cooperative projects. With training and support provided by the Cooperative Food Empowerment Directive (CoFed), college students are learning business and organizing skills in order to create local and sustainable food enterprises on their campus.

# College students who attended CoFed’s first national training, held January 2011 in CA

Through summer incubations, which include week-long intensive trainings and follow-up support services, CoFed will teach campus teams the essential skills and strategies for establishing new student-run food co-ops.  Students will be trained in areas including how to write a business plan, conduct market research, raise start-up capital, collaborate with local farmers, gain support from college administrators, and recruit a team of fellow students committed to practicing the cooperative business model.

“This campus food revolution is emerging all across the US, from Athens, Georgia to Kalamazoo, Michigan, and from Washington, DC to Seattle, Washington. We are seeing a new generation of college students rise up and cooperatively build alternative ways to feed themselves real food,” said CoFed’s co-founder and director Yonatan Landau.

“We see thousands of college students hungry for greater access to healthy, ethically sourced, locally produced food. Campus food co-ops give students great food at affordable prices, while supporting local farmers and imparting students with financial and organizational skills crucial for success in life after college,” said Landau.

In addition to the leadership training that dozens of campus leaders will acquire via CoFed’s week-long regional leadership retreats in June, these students will also receive personal assistance from CoFed’s six regional directors, who serve as expert advisers helping each campus team design and implement a strategic plan for launching their new food co-op.

CoFed retreats are like summer camp for campus “real food” activists, fusing workshops on business planning & team building with leadership trainings, and tons of fun!

GW Food Co-op student leader Melissa Eddison (2nd from left) wins the $10,000 Knapp Fellowship award – April 26, 2011
“Planning and building a campus food co-op is a major endeavor that requires a lot of hard work and collaborative effort,” said CoFed’s Mid-Atlantic regional director and University of Maryland Student Food Collective worker-owner Liz Ciavolino. “This is a challenge for busy students, but the benefits they’ll gain in access to cooperative food empowerment make it totally worthwhile. The good news is that CoFed has a ton of knowledge and resources in place to help our campus partners succeed.”

Already, students who participated in CoFed’s first national training, held this winter in California, are beginning to reap the benefits. For example, the GW Food Co-op’s plan for a nonprofit, student-run food co-op at George Washington University in downtown Washington, DC has earned them the $10,000 inaugural Knapp Fellowship for Entrepreneurial Service-Learning award.

The cost per student to attend a CoFed summer retreat is $250; scholarships are available, but the deadline to apply is May 15th. Students can apply here: http://www.cofed.org/for-students/summer-2011-building-the-movement/summer-incubation-application/

For more information, interviews, or to schedule media attendance at a CoFed summer retreat, please contact:

CoFed National Director  – Yonatan Landau, (510) 207 3850 or yoni@cofed.org OR CoFed Media Coordinator – Jeff Genauer, (856) 535 8547 or media@cofed.org

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