UR is celebrating Local Foods Week with the support of many popular local food companies, who have been providing locally produced fresh foods for UR for several years.

This week is an exciting one for food lovers three big events allow students to taste locally grown, fresh food.

A Local Food Dinner at Danforth Dining Center was held on Tuesday, Wilson Commons Wednesday’s Fall Harvest was yesterday and a Local Food Dinner at the Meliora Restaurant will take place tonight.

The Local Food Dinner at Danforth was represented by many popular local companies’ food, including Barilla Pasta from Avon, N.Y., Leo’s Elite Bakery and Balsam Bagels from Rochester, Perry’s Ice Cream from Perry, N.Y., Rich’s Dough from Buffalo, N.Y., Red Jacket Cider from Geneva, N.Y., Upstate Farms Cooperative and New York State Apple Country.

As UR has been serving local food for many years, this is a chance to introduce students to the local food agents who provide food for the campus dining centers.

‘The purpose of these events is to help students understand our commitment to the local food,” Director of Dining Services and Auxiliary Operations Cam Schauf said.

‘We are hosting these events to feature the partnerships with local growers, businesses and even campus groups that Dining works with on local buying and promoting sustainability,” Marketing Manager of Dining David Feist said. ‘The purpose of our Local Foods Week is to collaborate with many of our local partners and showcase the great food they produce.”

Another purpose of the week is to show students how UR is contributing to the local economy of the third-biggest city in New York by buying local food.

‘Many of the ingredients and products being served at these events can be found daily throughout our dining centers,” Feist said. ‘It is extremely important for us to support the local community.”

Some local companies had their first-ever representatives at the kick-off of the week in Danforth. Representatives were available to talk with students about their respective businesses and to promote their products.

The companies also provided company bios to help explain their backgrounds. The Local Food Dinner in Danforth was a success for the students who got to taste new foods. While UR features many of these local products every week, the meal featured unique recipes, and students generally appreciated the range of flavors available to sample.

‘Tuesday’s experience was probably one of the more pleasant nights I had getting my fill,” sophomore A.J. Lee said. ‘On most Danforth nights it wouldn’t be abnormal to fill your tray with gluten-free chicken and a dish of macaroni and cheese. On Tuesday, I didn’t expect to find a variety of different foods like ribs basted in ginger beer, brownies topped with ice cream and apple-themed desserts. Why don’t we have more nights like this?”

The second event, Fall Harvest, was held in Hirst Lounge in Wilson Commons. This meal was not only a part of Local Foods Week, but was also a Wilson Commons Wednesday.

A large crowd gathered to join in the harvest-themed lunch. Schauf said that the quantity of locally supplied food at UR has increased from one percent to more than 17 percent in the last four years.

Students generally found the food to be of high quality and enjoyed the diversity. Lee commented on how he wants to see these interesting recipes become more common in every day meals at UR.

‘They could still use more variety so we don’t end up eating pasta every night,” Lee said. ‘Maybe twice a week they can bring in foods from the local area.”

Feist expressed his and Schauf’s goal to hold another event like this in April.

‘We are planning to have other local-themed events in the spring semester to coincide with Earth Week in April,” Feist said.

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