From Becca “woodland fairy” Wilton ’15:
Last Saturday, Wesleyan made history by joining a handful of schools nation-wide fighting for a more just and sustainable food system. WesFRESH (Wesleyan’s food activist group) celebrated the signing of the Real Food Campus Commitment, a pledge to shift 20% of Wesleyan’s food budget to REAL food by 2020. President Roth and Head of Dining Michael Strumpf signed the pledge to move Wesleyan’s food system to food that is ecologically sound, local & community based, humane to animals, and fair to workers.
This was a major step in the right direction – but the work is only beginning!
Now, we are looking for devoted, enthusiastic students to form the brand-new Food Systems Working Group, a core team that will research new “real food” initiatives, and work with real food businesses, farmers, and Bon Appétit to implement the changes that will move us towards our 20% goal and beyond. If you are passionate about fighting for change in our food system at the institutional level, here is your chance!
From Becca “champ” Wilton ’15:
WesFRESH (Wesleyan Students for Real Ethical Sustainable Habits) invites you to celebrate the signing of the Real Food Challenge Campus Commitment!
The Real Food Challenge Campus Commitment is a contract that will be signed by President Michael Roth and Dining Director Michael Strumpf to increase real food at Wesleyan to 20% by 2020. Real food is food that is local and community-based, ecologically sound, fair to humans and ethical for animals.
In honor of this historic event in Wesleyan’s history and to celebrate Earth Week, there will be speakers, the signing of the commitment, and a picnic-style meal with food grown at local farm Urban Oaks and other sustainable farms.
Today I met our dining director, Michael Strumpf, who has replaced Delmar Crim. We discussed both the recent Wespeak I wrote and the blog comments about the new addition of hot soup at the Cafe, as well as new options. I’m glad to say that our conversation went great and I think that Michael brings some promise to B.A. at Wesleyan.
Just to give you a little background, Michael has worked with Bon Appetit for 10 years. He worked on the bidding contract that went on 3 years ago, and admits that the current way in which the Marketplace and Cafe are set up does not match some of the original goals. However, he is very concerned with the quality of the food and making the Wesleyan students happy. He has agreed to the following things at the Usdan Cafe:
- *As early as next week there will be new types of vegetarian and vegan sandwiches that have greater sources of protein. This may include tofu, tempeh, or beans.
- * He is going to try to bring back the black bean burger that comes in a more “attractive package” than last year’s tinfoil, and that will retain heat
- * He is also going to look into having healthy, hot “to-go” meals that can be microwavable. However, this is more complicated since it will require more labor power/hours from the workers.
If you have any questions or concerns, you can contact Michael via e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) or phone number (x3060). And for all of those naysayers, I think this goes to show we can make an impact via the power of the pen (or the blog).
Bon Appétit has apparently hired one Michael Strumpf to take Delmar Crim‘s place as the Resident District Manager at Wesleyan this year. No photo yet, but we can judge him on his Googleable work history.
Strumpf is coming from a former job as the General Manager for Bon Appétit at St. Mary’s College of Maryland, where he was instrumental in creating that school’s Farm to Fork local-food-based menu. He seems to have done a generally Delmar-type job in his interactions with the student body there.
From Southern Maryland News in March 2007:
Michael Strumpf, general manager of Bon Appetite at St. Mary’s College, makes sure the food he serves comes from local growers like the Funny Farm. He is also attempting to get the local Amish to raise and slaughter cattle specifically for the college. Every year he organizes the school’s “eat local challenge.” – the idea is to serve only local foods for an entire week.
“We have these bio-degradable plastic cups made out of corn,” said Strumpf holding one up at the crowded dining-hall furnished with wooden beams and lined by large windows.
Ok, Bon Appétit did all this locally-grown stuff for us when Delmar was here, but Amish-fresh beef? Funny Farm? Locavore diets aren’t nearly as endearing in Middletown as they apparently are in a 50-mile radius of St. Mary’s College.