Building Equitable and Inclusive Food Systems at UC Berkeley: Foodscape Mapping Project
Project Leads: Rosalie Fanshel, Isa Gaillard, Joyce Lee
Sponsor: Berkeley Food Institute
TGIF Grant: $4,169.00
Project Theme: Environmental Justice
Project Description: Since 2015 the “Building Equitable and Inclusive Food Systems at UC Berkeley Foodscape Mapping Project” has brought together collaborators from across campus to bridge the gaps between our campus food system and the communities it serves. The map offers extensive data on the structural factors affecting the UC Berkeley food system, highlighting a variety of food-related activities on campus through the lenses of diversity, equity, and inclusion. One priority area is increasing the food justice impact of campus catering. Because UC Berkeley provides food for hundreds of meeting and events weekly, catering plays a significant role in the UC Berkeley food procurement landscape. Campus has an opportunity to increase the use of “Sustainable and Just” catering services. The Berkeley Food Institute has expanded upon existing UC Berkeley zero waste and healthy choices guidelines by offering a food systems approach to comprehensive values that together constitute “Sustainable and Just” food service. Additional values include diversity, equity, and inclusion; food recovery; and labor. The project team created the Sustainable and Just Catering Guide (SJCG) and a list of vendors who meet a combination of these five values.
Goals: With the TGIF mini-grant, the project team will do an extensive outreach campaign to empower campus departments and student groups to adopt the SJCG for event planning. The approach will be fourfold:
- Raise awareness among campus event planners—namely department staff and student groups—about the SJCG and list of qualifying vendors.
- Work with campus event planners and the Basic Needs Food Recovery Program to increase flow of edible food waste from events to the Basic Needs Food Hub, thus ensuring leftover food reaches students in need.
- Assess “sustainability and justice” status of the 20 caterers who currently do the highest volume of business with UC Berkeley and work with these caterers to increase their adherence to SJCG values.
- Uplift caterers on the SJCG vendor list who have potential to do a greater volume of business with UC Berkeley, with particular emphasis on small businesses that a) Meet qualifications around diversity, equity, and inclusion, such as women-of-color-owned businesses; b) Are innovative models of labor-friendly business, such as worker-owned collectives; and c) Offer robust food waste reduction and recovery programs, both pre- and post-production.