Real Food Challenge Ontario registration - 2017

Ontario campuses, it’s time to join the Real Food movement with Meal Exchange!

Are you studying at college or university in Ontario in 2017?

Are you interested in how the food served on your campus can impact your community, the environment, animal welfare, and social justice?

Are you excited about bringing together student groups, administration and faculty to audit and increase the amount of Real Food purchased by your campus?

Now is your opportunity to join the international student movement for Real Food by organizing the Real Food Challenge with Meal Exchange in 2017!

Collectively, colleges and universities across North America spend over $5 billion per year to feed their students. The Real Food Challenge is a campaign to shift 20% of purchasing to Real Food, working to move $1 billion into the agriculture and supply chains we need for our future, using:

  • The Real Food Calculator is a verification tool, administered by students in collaboration with food services and faculty to provide an independent audit of the campuses' Real Food purchases and to communicate the results.

  • The Real Food Campus Commitment is made by university and college presidents who, responding to student demand, pledge to use the purchasing power of their campus to support community-based, ecologically-sound, socially-just and humane agriculture, with the goal of reaching 20% Real Food procurement by 2020.

Students are organizing towards this goal at over 240 institutions in the U.S., and 6 pilot campuses in B.C. Now is your chance to join them and bring the Real Food Challenge to Ontario!

The Real Food Challenge Ontario is run by Meal Exchange, with the support of the Greenbelt Fund, and in partnership with Real Food Challenge U.S. For more information on Meal Exchange and our other programs, visit

Registration is due January 24th. See the following pages for details.

Meal Exchange is looking for Real Food Challenge Ontario organizers that are:

  • Excited to build a strong coalition of allies - from students to faculty and from chefs to champion administrators - who share the goal of getting more Real Food on campus. Having existing connections to these groups will speed up your work, but isn't necessary if you're confident in your ability to go out and develop them. 
  • Good communicators and facilitators - you don’t need to have the loudest voices in the room, but it’ll help if you have experience explaining ideas to different audiences, and be comfortable leading conversations and building trusting relationships
  • Able to work as a volunteer - Meal Exchange will help students interested in setting up course credit or stipends and provide paid summer positions at campuses where possible, but can't guarantee this support. 
  • Available and able to seriously commit for winter, summer, and fall 2017 semesters - Or, if you are graduating, commit to finding and training other students to take over from you.

Although Meal Exchange encourages students to apply in teams of 2-5, we welcome individual applications for students serious about this project.

Campuses without a Meal Exchange Chapter are eligible to apply. However, if your campus has a Meal Exchange Chapter, please contact the Chapter leadership to discuss your interest in applying and coordinate an application with their support and/or partnership.

The first step of organizing a Real Food Challenge Ontario campaign is preparing to run a Real Food Calculator Audit in Summer 2017. The Audit will measure a baseline of the amount of Real Food on campus and identify opportunities to improve campus purchasing practices.

Real Food Challenge Ontario Campaigns will work to achieve all of the Eligibility Criteria by April 2017, including:

  • Hold 1 or more Real Food events to introduce students and stakeholders to the goals and values of the Real Food Challenge

  • Receive letters of support from 5 or more student groups and/or faculty and/or administrative departments who feel the Real Food Challenge will advance their goals

  • Confirm 1 or more Faculty member who will support the Calculator Audit process

  • Confirm 1 member of campus foodservices who will serve as the Institutional Official for the Calculator Audit, supporting students to access necessary  information and liaising with the foodservice team and Meal Exchange national

  • Secure purchasing invoices from foodservices which will be used for the Calculator Audit

  • Secure funding to cover Calculator Audit costs (amount to be discussed, based on campus size and context)

  • Confirm one or more representative(s) to attend Meal Exchange’s National Student Food Summit conference, summer 2017

  • Confirm one or more student(s) to run the Calculator Audit over summer 2017, available a minimum of 10-20 hours per week (paid summer position will be provided for select campuses)

Meal Exchange will provide detailed guides, template materials, and examples from successful campaigns for all of the above steps. You will be responsible for building and managing a team on your campus.

If you believe your campus is a good fit for the Real Food Challenge and that you can achieve the above requirements by April 2017, register as a Real Food Ontario Campaign on the next page, and we will send details and resources to you by the end of January.


We'd like to hear about your interest in the Real Food Challenge Ontario and your plans for bringing it to your campus. There isn't a word limit, but just share what you think is most relevant and we will follow up if we have more questions. Bullet point answers are fine. 

Need assistance with this form?