There was a seemingly endless array of culinary options under a big top tent on the Wesleyan University campus in Middletown, with a healthy side order of social responsibility. The university's food service provider, Bon Appetit Management, helped to celebrate Eat Local Challenge Day and what is known as the "Farm to Fork Competition." Eat Local Challenge Day showcases fare locally sourced from farmers and foodcrafters within a 150 mile radius. "We should be giving back to these small local farmers and I think everyone should eat local," said Brian Dagnall, Wesleyan's Executive Chef.
The Farm to Fork Grant program is awarding five thousand dollar grants to ten local farmers and food aritisans from across the country. Jeff Hill, a finalist from Durham, was on the Wesleyan campus serving his jams and pickles from "We Bake, We Jam" the name of his specialty line of locally sourced items. Hill said supporting local farmers is imperative, "It's good for this country," Hill said. "Take care of your local people." Lallane Guiao, a Junior at Wesleyan said of the event, "it's a good move for the environment and for us."
Hundreds of Wesleyan students showed up to eat and vote for their favorite vendors, the winners of the grants will be announced next week.