Local Foods Dinner a Success

Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.

On Thursday evening, Sharples overflowed with eager diners who had come to sample local foods at a dinner hosted by Swarthmore’s Good Food Project. Every item on the menu–from the salad greens to the ice cream–was grown or produced locally. Claudia Seixas ’10, soon to hold the title of “Student Sustainability Coordinator for Dining Services,” is a coordinator of the Good Food Project, along with Marshall Morales ’08 and Jamie Hansen-Lewis ’10. In organizing the dinner, “I basically worked with Janet Kassab [Dining Services Director of Purchasing] and Linda McDougall [Dining Services Director] and they were really helpful and great about everything,” she said. “It was really their initiative.” She added that “a lot of preparation went into [this meal].”

The ingredients for the dinner included tomatoes and herbs from the Good Foods Project garden. Many of the meal items came from a center that facilitates distribution of locally produced foods. Seixas said, “There’s this one farmer, Noah–I don’t know his last name. He apparently grew a whole field of kale just for us.”

At dinner, “the line [for food] was ridiculously long,” said Gerri Straughter ’09. The extensive menu included roasted chicken, mashed potatoes, mushroom and spinach lasagna, baked tofu, and apple crisp. The chicken emerged as a general favorite. Ada Okun ’11 said the meal was “delicious, and it’s really nice to have things taste fresh.” “It was a pretty good change,” said Rahul Garg ’11, noting that he had “never seen Sharples this full.”

“If we could have a dinner like this every night, that would be amazing,” said Seixas, voicing a common sentiment. “I’d like to emphasize that Sharples was really great about everything, really wonderful. They’re making a lot of progress towards incorporating local and sustainable foods.”

Image licensed under Creative Commons by Flickr’s Greviousangel