Hungry diners at J Street have a new option that’s equal parts fresh and filling: Sodexo and Campus Support Services have launched a produce market to give the George Washington University community access to market-priced fruits and vegetables.
Nestled between Greenfields and Pesto, the Fill Your Fridge Produce Market Initiative debuted earlier this semester. It opens every Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., and will run until the end of April. The produce is sourced from Keany Farms, GW’s farm supplier located in Landover, Md. Customers can weigh out the items they want and pay using Dining Dollars, Colonial Cash or cash or credit card.
Nancy M. Haaga, managing director of Campus Support Services, explained the effort provides staff, students and faculty with both inexpensive prices and access to healthier meals.
“From our perspective, we love it because we feel like we’re continuing to offer fresher options, especially for students who have kitchens and cooking facilities in their halls. It’s convenient not just for them, but for faculty and staff, too. They can just pop in and pick up what they need,” Ms. Haaga said.
The produce market has garnered the support of GW’s Urban Food Task Force, which works to identify and recommend ways to support urban food polices and healthy eating.
“The new produce market in J Street is a terrific response to the need for healthy options in and around campus. We applaud Sodexo and Campus Support Services for creating another way for the GW community to have access to fresh produce in a convenient way,” said Dawnita Altieri, co-chair of the task force and manager of strategic alliances and communications for GW Food Initiatives.
Sodexo was an integral part of the collaboration. Ms. Haaga had worked closely with Sodexo General Manager Bernadette Thomas and Sodexo Campus Dining Marketing Manager Sarah Stevenson. Ms. Stevenson explained that the team has been raising awareness of the produce market through posters, door hangers and other signage. Each week, she said, more people turn out to make purchases, and the response from the community has been positive.
Campus Support Services will likely start the market in the fall. Ms. Haaga said she looks forward to the varied produce options that will become available in the autumn, and plans on advertising at Colonial Inauguration so freshmen know about the market from the beginning of the year.
Campus Support Service has also organized Kogan Cookouts and made-to-order meals at J Street every Monday and Tuesday. Ms. Haaga explained that like those efforts, the produce market highlights the university’s commitment to giving students, faculty and staff new things to look forward to when they visit a campus dining facility.
“We want to maintain a lot of variety and keep things interesting so that students will be intrigued whenever they come into J Street—just like they would be at any restaurant or market,” she said. “We want to up the ante on the value of GW’s dining plan program and offer something unique and different.”