Food Day 2015

By: Jenna Beresheim,
News Editor

The nationally celebrated Food Day came to Western for a two day event this year.

Typically, Food Day is held on Oct. 24, but with the event falling on a Saturday this year, campus decided to push the event forward to the 22nd and 23rd.

The event supports making informed food choices, sponsoring local farms, decreasing carbon footprints, recycling, changing food policies, and much more. The national theme this year was entitled “Toward a Greener Diet.”

The Oct. 22 activities included a free movie viewing of “Living on One Dollar” and a Green Passport event in Valsetz with activities and prizes including pumpkins.

The focus for the day was on sustainability and greener choices, such as making jack-o-lanterns from empty milk jugs and battery operated tea lights.

Friday, Oct. 23 was food focused and packed with samples. A “clean” eating meal was featured at Valsetz, vendors from near and far filled the WUC, and outside the building WOU food pantry traded pumpkins for non-perishable food items.

“Some people donate one food item, and others will donate two, or five,” explained Christie Colasurdo, a fourth year community health major and director for the WOU food pantry.

“Even if you just get 10 cans, that’s still something, and you know that someone who needs a meal is going to be able to get it,” said Colasurdo.

All pumpkins were donated from Charlie’s Produce in a large flat, and were traded for both cash donations as well as food.

Within the WUC, Samuel Benjamin, a representative for Portland Roasting Coffee, poured samples for interested participants. Scattered along the table were several types of coffee, as well as some flavorings to customize drinks as necessary.

“I love when people are enthusiastic and open to learning more about coffee,” said Benjamin, “there is always more to learn and I love being able to provide that.”

“Both the Morning Blend and Italian Blend are available in Allegro,” reported Benjamin’s coworker, Nikolai Cherny.

Another vendor present was the WOU Campus Garden, a volunteer-run garden overseen by their advisor Dr. Emily Plec, a professor in communication studies.

“You can have an individual plot or garden collectively with other students,” stated Plec.

“Volunteers get first crack at the harvest, and anything else goes to the food pantry here on campus,” Plec continued.

Herbs from the garden are also donated to campus dining to use in their dishes.
Students interested are encouraged to find the campus garden on Facebook at “Campus Garden WOU.”

Over 14 separate vendors participated in this event, from large companies such as Odwalla to smaller homegrown entities like Jamie’s Jellies.

WOU Food Day started four years ago and has gained popularity since, emsuring that there will be more events in the years to come.

“Eating real [food] can save your own health and put our food system on a more humane, sustainable path,” reports the Food Day website.

For more information regarding the national event, please see