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Student government using $1,100 reserve fund for fresh food baskets from Growing Power to sell to students

Organic+produce+in+the+baskets+includes+apples%2C+bananas%2C+potatoes+and+seasonal+vegetables.%0APhoto+by+Matthew+Serafin+%2F+matthew.serafin%40marquette.edu
Organic produce in the baskets includes apples, bananas, potatoes and seasonal vegetables.
Photo by Matthew Serafin / matthew.serafin@marquette.edu

Organic produce in the baskets includes apples, bananas, potatoes and seasonal vegetables. Photo by Matthew Serafin / matthew.serafin@marquette.edu

Organic produce in the baskets includes apples, bananas, potatoes and seasonal vegetables. Photo by Matthew Serafin / matthew.serafin@marquette.edu

Sophia Boyd, Student Government & Politics Reporter

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Marquette Student Government will sell fresh food baskets to students next semester due to a lack of grocery stores near campus and Milwaukee’s food desert designation from the United States Department of Agriculture.

The Committee of Business Administration presented legislation at this week’s MUSG Senate meeting to allow use of reserve funds for purchasing food baskets from Growing Power, a national nonprofit that promotes sustainability.

The baskets typically consist of apples, bananas, potatoes and seasonal vegetables from regional farms  partnered with Growing Power.

“We would use the $1,100 to buy these baskets and then, as the students buy them through the CSLI (Center for Service, Leadership and Involvement), that money would just go back into the reserve fund,” said committee member Riley Wogernese, a junior in the College of Business Administration.

Since MUSG will buy the baskets in bulk, shipping will be free. The baskets will be available for six weeks and cost $9 each for the smallest option.

Committee Chair Courtney Guc, a junior in the College of Business Administration, said she has been a loyal food basket buyer for a year now, and that the baskets are worthy of the price.

“In the event that not enough students purchase the baskets we brought to campus we would be selling it to some of the other organizations within the AMU and on campus,” said committee member Nic Schmidt, a junior in the College of Engineering.

“If worse comes to worst and no one wants to buy it, we’ll give it to campus kitchens,” Guc said.

This is not the first time these baskets are being sold at Marquette. Last November, MUSG hosted a similar one-time pilot program and sold all of the 25 baskets it bought from Growing Power.

“This is still a miniature pilot program that’s looking a little more serious than the last one,” Guc said.

The $9 basket is the smallest and cheapest of three options. It’s filled with enough food to feed one person for a week. The most expensive and largest of the baskets costs $22 and consists of all organic food.

“If we see a huge demand of people wanting organic produce on campus, we can definitely pre-order those too,” Guc said.

Maggie Stang, a junior in the College of Arts & Sciences, said she visited the Growing Power facility at 5500 W. Silver Spring Ave. in Milwaukee. She’s excited to buy the baskets and cook with fresh produce.

“It’s important to have options for students to buy fresh vegetables on campus,” Stang said in an email. “The baskets would promote healthy eating and also make students wonder about where their food comes from. Hopefully it would promote supporting more local organizations and conversations about sustainability on campus.”

The baskets will be sold in the CSLI.

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1 Comment

One Response to “Student government using $1,100 reserve fund for fresh food baskets from Growing Power to sell to students”

  1. Leslie Perrizo on January 21st, 2016 4:27 pm

    What a wonderful and needed service. Our daughter craves fresh produce as the meal plan does not offer much in the area of fresh fruit. It would be a great service to offer a weekly fruit basket with carrots, yams, celery, broccoli as an option for snacking in the dorms.

    A weekly farmers market on campus would be a great addition for students, staff and local community.

    Best wishes on this new endeavor.

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