Clubs celebrate first-ever national Food Day

Clubs celebrate first-ever national Food Day

Spinnaker

By Dargan Thompson, Contributing Writer

Good news, food lovers: The first-ever national Food Day will take place Oct. 24 in cities and communities all over the country, and two UNF clubs will help spread the word of healthy eating.

But what exactly is Food Day?

It’s a nationwide movement with a grassroots mission — Food Day is about working with communities across the country to highlight food issues of local importance, said Cari Sanchez-Potter, the Jacksonville-area coordinator for Food Day.

“Some people donʼt understand how important food is,” she said. “You know, you donʼt think about it. Itʼs just natural to eat what’s in front of you.”

Madeline Edwards, president of UNF Vegetarians Educating for the Good of Animals, Nature and Society, was eager to get involved as soon as she heard about Food Day.

Edwards said her club promotes vegetarian and vegan lifestyles. She wants to educate people about where their food comes from, she said.

The UNF Nutrition Club and UNF V.E.G.A.N.S. will host a free Food Day fair Oct. 24 in the Student Union plaza. It will be similar to Market Days, with tables representing Health Promotions, the UNF Organic Garden, Chartwells, a few UNF clubs and various Jacksonville businesses.

Lindsay Arnett, president of the UNF Nutrition Club, is in charge of the Food Day fair. She said she hopes the event will help people learn about healthy eating.

“A lot of people probably know theyʼre supposed to eat healthy, but they make other choices because itʼs convenient,” she said.

Gretchen Ferrell, the founder of Beaches Local Food Network, said she hopes
Jacksonville Food Day events will inspire people to make conscious decisions about the food they eat.

“We want people to be more connected to the sources of their food,” she said. “Like if you eat a hamburger — to know where thatʼs coming from, that itʼs coming from a healthy animal.”

Ferrell, who helps run an organic community garden and a farmers’ market, said pursuing sustainable food practices is an everyday thing for her.

“I am participating in Food Day on an ongoing basis,” she said.

The Food Day website lays out six goals, which include promoting healthy foods, supporting sustainable farms and expanding access to food.

Sanchez-Potter also emphasized the need for education about food and encouraged UNF students to host their own Food Day events.

“There’s a crucial education gap in Jacksonville when it comes to the benefits and reasons for eating locally grown, healthy, sustainable food,” she said. “My hope is that Food Day will be one step toward bridging that gap.”

Email Dargan Thompson at [email protected]

NEED TO CELEBRATE THE FEED?
The UNF Nutrition Club and UNF V.E.G.A.N.S. will host a free Food Day fair Monday, Oct. 24 10 a.m.-3 p.m. in the Student Union plaza.

Although Food Day is officially Oct. 24, there is a week of events in Jacksonville leading up to it, said Cari Sanchez-Potter, the Jacksonville coordinator for Food Day. Dinners, food swaps and garden bike tours will take place along with many other events. Anyone wishing to get involved should email [email protected]