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UNF Garden Selling Produce To Campus Food Supplier

Beatrice Sanchez

The University of North Florida aims to improve students’ health by selling produce grown on campus to its food provider, Chartwells.

Ogier Gardens Coordinator Kevin Anderson says the school started planting organic produce as part of its Eco Adventure environmental education program, and interest grew from there.

“We want to get the food to the students. And basically there are students that are on the meal plan that don’t have any choice about being on that meal plan,” he says. “So this is an opportunity to get some of that fresh produce to them.”

Anderson says UNF is the first school in Florida to sell campus-grown food to the university’s food provider.

Last year, it sold $1,400 worth of shitake mushrooms alone.

He says the garden also supplies fresh produce to an on-campus student pantry after he noticed most of the vegetables available there were in cans. 

“Students that experience food insecurity that maybe don’t have enough money to buy a proper meal for themselves, they can go to the food pantry and get food," he says. 

Students can also volunteer to work in the garden in exchange for fruit and vegetables.

Beatrice Sanchez is a senior at the University of North Florida. She will graduate this year with a bachelor's degree in communication with a concentration on media production. Originally from Manila, Philippines, she moved to Jacksonville four years ago to finish school. She spends most of her time at school or work, and if she ever does get free time, she enjoys watching re-runs of "Grey's Anatomy" or taking pictures of surfers out at the beach.