Healthier food choices on the way for East Bay students

Samuel Salisbury,

In an effort to bring healthier food options to the Cal State East Bay campus, the university will host a monthly farmer’s market for faculty and students this fall.

Beginning October 13, the market will be open at the plaza outside of the Recreation and Wellness center on the second Thursday of every month from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., excluding December through February.

Nicole Travis, health educator for East Bay’s Student Health and Counseling Services, told The Pioneer that this “campus-wide effort” is happening because students have expressed a desire to be healthier.

Many students at Cal State East Bay are concerned about the lack of healthy food options at the school.

Current food options include the Pioneer Heights dining commons, weekly food trucks, Einstein Bros bagels, the POD market, Greens To Go and fast-food restaurants like Taco Bell, Pizza Hut and Panda Express.

“It wasn’t any one person’s idea, it was a collaboration of different departments,” said Debbie Meyer, general manager of Pioneer Dining.

Student government and the RAW center were involved in the discussion, Meyer said.

The farmer’s market will sell fresh fruits and vegetables grown by local farmers. Meyer defined “local” as being within 250 miles.

Travis said the farmer’s market will be held in conjunction with an event similar to the Sustainable Food Fest held at East Bay in 2015.

The Sustainable Food Fest promoted local foods and was designed to encourage students and faculty to adopt healthier eating habits.

East Bay currently has a contract with Aramark, a food service corporation that caters to colleges and other businesses, which manages all of East Bay’s food options.

Aramark will also manage the farmer’s market in collaboration with produce company Freshpoint, which will transport the fresh, local produce to Aramark, according to Meyer.

Aramark will then sell the produce at the same price they paid Freshpoint for it, making the farmer’s market a not-for-profit exchange.

Only cash will be accepted at the farmer’s market in the beginning, but Bay Cards and credit cards will be used in the future.