In creating a food system known for its transparency and accountability, the McGill Food Systems Project (MFSP) practices an exemplary model of student engagement where diverse stakeholders are able to work in collaboration towards a common goal.
The University is blessed by the fact that it has a Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences within close proximity (35 Km) to its major downtown campus which houses and feeds nearly 3000 students on a daily basis for eight months of the year. The amount of food that is being produced and the potential for more production in the future is staggering. There are many financial, social and health benefits that this project brings to the University administrators and its student population.
The mandate of McGill Feeding McGill is to provide locally grown fruits and vegetables from the Macdonald Campus’s Horticultural Research Center to McGill University’s Food and Dining services operated residences and the general student community.
The 2012 season was McGill Feeding McGill’s most successful season to date. They delivered around 25,000 Kg of fruits and vegetables to McGill’s downtown residences. This is an increase of 66% from the previous year.
With the support of the Sustainability Fund, McGill Food and Dining Services (MFDS) hired a Food Systems Administrator in August 2010 to consolidate the food purchasing function for the department, to create more sustainable & local food purchasing at McGill, to bring fresher, tastier and more nutrient-rich food to the McGill community, and to support a culture of sustainability at McGill.
The McGill Farmers’ Market (MFM) aims to bring delicious, local, seasonal produce to McGill's downtown campus, with weekly Farmers' Markets throughout September and October, and a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) project from July to October.
This project created an innovative protocol on how to grow gourmet oyster mushrooms from spent coffee grounds. They collected used coffee grounds from McGill cafeterias and area cafes, which was used for their experimental research to grow edible mushrooms.
A continuation of the McGill Food Systems Project Local Food Plus Intern (SP0045): A McGill student will intern with Local Food Plus, assisting with Quebec farm certifications over the summer of 2011, helping McGill meet the Certified Local Sustainable supply for the campus' food services demands as McGill prepares to launch a partnership with Local Food Plus in fall 2011.