By: Elizabeth Iwunwa
Chartwells at UPEI runs cafés on campus and the residence dining hall, and caters various events held on campus. It runs Samuel’s at the Robertson Library, the self-serve Micromarket at the new Engineering building, and the Courtyard Cafe in the UPEISU building.
Last Thursday, UPEI’s foremost provider of food services, put on a local Farmers’ Market event. This occasion hosted on the Quad, featured commodities including an Island Beef Stew and fresh biscuits which were absolutely delicious, apples from Arlington Orchards, stew bags, apple crisp, and gouda cheese from Glasgow Glen Farm which they also use on their 550 Pizza at the AVC Cafe. The purpose of the event was to showcase their local suppliers and to promote local.
The last time an event of this kind was held was two years ago at the Atlantic Veterinary College. Quite a number of activities aimed to promote local were planned for this October as part of a company-wide competition called “Are You A Local Hero?” in which different campus branches compete to win a thousand dollars for the charity of their choice. For Chartwells UPEI, their charity of choice is the campus Food Bank, which they have been supporting for a few years.
Aside from the Farmer’s Market, some of the other events planned for October were teaming up with some of the Residence Life Advisors to help residents make apple crisp and provide pumpkins for pumpkin carving, Thanksgiving dinners made with local ingredients, and a Local Showcase, where they bring in local businesses to showcase their product and tell their story! Chartwells UPEI also participates in Trick or Eat, a nationwide activity in which participants go around door to door, collecting canned goods and/or donation that all go towards the campus Food Bank.
Food banks are established in response to food insecurity and as of now 1 in 8 Canadian families struggle to place food on their tables. Perhaps an even more disquieting statistic is that an estimated $14 billion worth of food is wasted in Canada annually. In lieu of this, Chartwells UPEI is implementing “Project Clean Plate” this November. Within an all-you-care-to-eat system, waste can be high. Therefore throughout the month and the rest of the year, there efforts will be made and guidelines set to curb wastage, while encouraging students to do the same.
Speaking with Via Reyes, former UPEI student and Student Engagement Coordinator for Chartwells, she explained that for regular updates on events and specials, students would benefit by checking out their Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts.