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Environmental Lens: Food

Everybody eats! Food is a universal way that every person on the planet interacts with the environment. Yet, there are many issues facing the food system in the US and around the world: food access, environmental degradation, and labor exploitation to name a few.


This page aims to bring to light how students, faculty, and staff at University of Richmond can learn more about the food system and engage in ways that they find meaningful on and off campus.

Campus Connection

Here are some organizations and opportunities on campus that you can connect to and get involved with:

  • Food Access Coalition: This is the UR chapter of the national Stop Hunger Now Coalition. Their goal is to end hunger in our lifetime by providing food and life changing aid to the world's most vulnerable. You can find out more information on the CCE's Food Access Coalition page.
  • Dining Services: Contact dining services to see how food is sourced for the University.

If you would like to see you organization added to this list, please contact Garrett Stern at gstern@richmond.edu. 

Learn

Here are some resources and classes that dive deeper into the issues surrounding food access:

  • SOC 335 Feast and Famine: Inequalities in the Global Food System: Analyzes the socio-economic, political, and cultural construction of food systems. Topics include global institutions that impact the flow of food around the world; regional relationships pertaining to food trade; and local relationships between producers, retailers, and consumers.
  • HIST 390 Food and Power in Africa and Asia: Comparative exploration of the connection between food (cultivation, processing, distribution, consumption, and denial) and political legitimacy, social institutions, and individuals' identities and values in Asia and Africa from antiquity to present.
  • CHEM 114 The Chemistry of Cooking and Modernist Cuisine: Improves understanding of the scientific principles of food and cooking. Investigates how scientific principles and techniques have revolutionized the culinary industry. Focuses on the molecular bases of food and their reactivity under various conditions. A hands-on look at applied chemical principles as seen in cooking.
  • PHIL 265 Bioethics: A survey of prevalent topics in recent bioethics, the study of ethical discussions surrounding the sciences of biology and medicine. Works to improve ability to think critically and to argue from the standpoint of a certain moral theory in the ethical evaluation of problems concerning the human body, health care, doctor-patient relationship, life and death, food, and animals.

If you would like to see your class added to this list or be added as a faculty contact, please contact Garrett Stern at gstern@richmond.edu.

Community Action

Want to get a more hands-on experience? Here are some organizations and groups that are actively working on these issues and with which you can engage! 

  • Bon Secours Class-A-Roll: One of Central Virginia’s first mobile learning kitchens, Class-A-Roll provides a fun and interactive way to learn a skill that is the foundation of a healthy life-cooking! Class-A-Roll is a part of Bon Secours Virginia’s Building Healthy Communities Initiative, which provides Good Help to the most vulnerable. Find more information about this organization on the CCE's Community Relationships map.
  • Peter Paul Development Center (Community Garden)*: The Peter Paul Development Center (PPDC) is the oldest continually operating community center in Richmond’s East End.  PPDC's mission is to support the residents of the East End and educate its students, equipping them to serve as positive contributors to their family, community, and society.  The center offers programs for children ages 8 to 18, seniors and their families. Find more information about this organization on the CCE's Community Relationships map.
  • Shalom Farms: Shalom Farms is a nonprofit community farm project with the overarching goal of increasing food security in the Richmond region, particularly in low-income urban neighborhoods. Shalom Farms also aims to increase access to healthy foods in the inner city, build community, and improve the self-sufficiency of those involved. Through hands-on experiences on the farm and in the city, Shalom Farms and our diverse partners are making a difference on dinner plates all over the Richmond area. Find more information about this organization on the CCE's Community Relationships map.
  • Tricycle Gardens: Tricycle Gardens is a nonprofit organization in Richmond, VA, with a mission to grow healthy food, healthy communities and a healthy local food system. Since breaking ground on the first garden, they have engaged thousands of neighbors and shown that the simple act of growing and eating healthy food is an incredibly powerful way to change the overall health of our community. Find more information about this organization on the CCE's Community Relationships map.

*These community partner organizations can be accessed using UR's Service Shuttles or the UR Downtown Shuttle (which leaves from the transportation hub every hour, on the hour).

For current opportunities, you could also check out HandsOn Greater Richmond.