In Fall 2020, the Sabo Center for Democracy and Citizenship launched Augsburg Local, an effort to leverage Augsburg University’s purchasing power to support local businesses. Through a partnership with Augsburg’s dining services, students and staff involved with Augsburg Local began conversations about reimagining sustainability, representation, cultural competence, and being a good neighbor by serving healthy dishes featuring foods sourced from environmentally sustainable local vendors. A salad creation team was born in an effort to support this transition.
The Sabo Center’s salad creation team includes staff and students from the Environmental Stewardship Committee, Campus Kitchen, and Augsburg Local. The team has drawn on the work of young people from community partners, including Pillsbury United Communities’ Waite House (in the Phillips neighborhood in South Minneapolis) and the local nonprofit Roots for the Home Team, which focuses on mentoring teens through community gardening and hands-on learning with chefs.
Augsburg’s salad creation team researched and developed signature salads that were first sold in The Commons last fall. The development of seasonal, locally sourced salads occurred through a series of workshops during Summer 2021 with participation from students, staff, faculty, and community members with expertise from local vendors, farmers, and dining services staff. Trial ingredients came from The Good Acre (a Twin Cities food hub), the Seward Community Co-op, and other local vendors and farmers to support and develop their capacity to supply Augsburg dining services in the long term.
This co-created salad project serves as a stepping stone toward a greater commitment to local and sustainable food procurement at Augsburg. A shift toward local food purchasing at Augsburg will help build a more sustainable local economy.
Top image: Student-created salads were offered in The Commons for on-campus diners. (Courtesy photo)