Plan begins for student food co-op

ULM Hawkeye

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The Office of Student Life and Leadership along with the Student Government Association is planning to setup a student “food co-op” on campus.

A student “food co-op” is a cooperatively-run food enterprise on campus that provides students with access to affordable meals.

According to Emily Essex, the director of Student Life and Leadership, both her office and the SGA are researching on the idea to try to find a “food co-op” suitable for ULM.

Since the plan is still in its developmental stage, the team doesn’t have an exact figure on the number of students affected by food insecurity on campus.

The proposed student “food co-op” could be operated in two different ways. In case of a traditional “food co-op,” students would be taught to maintain a vegetable garden somewhere on campus which Essex says will also teach them life skills.

The other approach is a food pantry that would provide students with non-perishable items like canned food and basic necessities. Essex hopes the “food co-op” will bring together both the ULM and Monroe community.

According to Essex, students not being able to afford food is an issue that the “food co-op” aims to tackle.

Currently, the team is looking for Registered Student Organizations (RSO) that would like to help with the idea. It was also mentioned in the mandatory RSO meetings by Megan Lee, the coordinator for Student Life.

Essex hopes to set up the “food co-op” beginning next semester.

The idea of an on-campus food pantry is currently being implemented in schools like Louisiana State University and Louisiana Tech University.