Organization offers fresh produce to local students
Tulane students Sam Kiyomi Turner, left, and Emma Lisec,
center, along with Loyola junior Alex Goldman inspect
broccoli at the farm at Our School at Blair Grocery for their
organization Student Supported Agriculture, which offers
fresh produce to students on both campuses.
(Photo by Ryan Rivet)
While New Orleans may be a food town, sometimes finding fresh, local produce can be a challenge for students on campus. With that in mind, a coalition of students at Tulane and Loyola universities created Student Supported Agriculture (SSA), an organization that seeks to provide hyper-local, seasonal fruits and vegetables to students on both campuses.
Recognizing that students weren’t always able to travel to seek out local produce, Tulane junior Sam Kiyomi Turner and Loyola student Conor Mullstein, along with Alex Goldman, a junior at Loyola and Emma Lisec, a Tulane sophomore public health major, decided that the best way to address the issue was to go to local farms and bring the produce straight to campus.
One of their largest vendors is Our School at Blair Grocery (OSBG), a food justice academy and urban farm located in the Lower Ninth Ward.
“It quickly became this idea for us to bridge the gap between the farms like OSBG in the Lower Ninth Ward and students uptown,” Lisec says. “It became a way of creating this beneficial relationship that helps both groups.”
SSA has prepared and sold bags of produce at the Green Wave Community Market held at the Tulane Hillel House. Lisec says the reception has been remarkably positive so far.
“We have prepared 30 bags each time and they’ve all sold out. That was a huge success for us,” Lisec says.
In light of those successes, they brought more bags to the last Community Market on Sunday (March 23).
The next step is offering a subscription plan where students can pay at the beginning of the semester and receive a bag of fruits and vegetables every two weeks. She believes the benefits go beyond just getting good food.
“We’d like to encourage students to get involved with places like OSBG,” Lisec says. “If students go out to the farms and see how they grow the food, they would be inspired to support local farmers through programs like ours.”
March 20, 2014