Campus Food Movements and Community Service-Learning: Mobilizing Partnerships through the Good Food Challenge in Canada
Keywords:community service-learning, critical praxis, food systems, spaces of engagement, social movements
This paper addresses the growing collaborations among students, faculty and community-practitioners attempting to build healthy, equitable and sustainable food systems within post-secondary institutions and the ensuing implications for food movements. Specifically, we investigate the role of Community Service-Learning (CSL) in fostering food systems change through a case study of Planning for Change: Community Development in Action, a graduate CSL course at the University of Toronto and a partnership with Meal Exchange, a national non-profit organization, to develop the Good Food Challenge on college and university campuses across Canada. Using CSL to support social movements is not uncommon; however, there has been little application of these pedagogical approaches within the field of food systems studies, especially in the area of campus food movements that engage diverse groups in mutually beneficial and transformative projects. Our description of the case study is organized into three categories that focus on key sites of theory, practice and reflection: classroom spaces, community spaces and spaces of engagement. Through reflection on these spaces, we demonstrate the potential of CSL to contribute to a more robust sustainable food movement through vibrant academic and community partnerships. Together, these spaces demonstrate how campus-based collaborations can be strategic levers in shifting towards more healthy, sustainable and equitable food systems.
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