When it comes to food, Zags are a passionate bunch. With clubs dedicated to bringing in fresh, ethical food on campus and philosophical courses such as “Ethics of Eating” that fill up almost as fast as a line for The Kennel on ticket distribution day, students have proven they care about fresh food. With that being said, there are many places close to campus where Zags can get their fill of fresh, local food.
My Fresh Basket
Located in Kendall Yards at 1030 W. Summit Pkwy, it is hard to ignore My Fresh Basket with its big green sign and aesthetic building at the edge of the newest part of town.
My Fresh Basket tries to connect with local Washington producers, but it could not give an estimate of the percentage, said Chris Pierce, assistant produce manager.
“It depends on the time of year, but we try our best to get local produce when it’s in season,” Pierce said.
When looking at the stickers on the fruit, many items come from Chelan, Washington, and other Washington cities. Others appeared to come from across the globe, even though the “apple capital of the world” is just a few hours away in Wenatchee.
For stone fruit, such as peaches, there are local items from Spokane displayed at the front of the store.
In the deli section, there are cheeses and dips that are made right here in Spokane from smaller businesses such as Victor’s Hummus and Mama Torrez Salsa.
Aside from the New Zealand apples, My Fresh Basket is holding its own in the game of local produce and food items.
Gonzaga Sustainable Eats Club (Formerly Real Food Club)
GU Sustainable Eats, a club in a contract with Sodexo and GU, recently diverted from the national Real Food Challenge, hence the name change, after it reached the goal of 20% "real foods" in the COG, Marketplace and 1887 at Cataldo this fall. Real food is defined as local, fair, humane and ecologically sound.
“The goal of the challenge is to get more real food on college campuses,” said co-president Emma Hayden.
The club has been successful and plans to continue its work with a new goal for their percentage of real foods on GU’s campus.
Local Inland Northwest Cooperative (LINC) is a business that GU Sustainable Eats Club works with to bring fresh vegetables to campus.
According to its website, it is a “worker/farmer owned cooperative food hub,” that provides local produce with minimal processing to businesses, colleges and restaurants.
Much of the local produce that you find on campus is from LINC farmers in Spokane.
Sodexo works with LINC Foods to bring in local produce to the COG and 1887 at Cataldo, but LINC also offer a program that will bring individuals enough local produce for three people for about $25 a week.
It may seem pricey at first when comparing it to buying produce at a grocery store, but “it is definitely worth the price,” Hayden said.
Among three people, Hayden is in favor of sharing the bundle among roommates versus shopping at the store for the same foods. In purchasing the bundle, you get a fair amount of produce from local farms in Spokane. There is a drop-box on campus that students can utilize in order to pick up their goods.
GU Campus Garden
The GU Campus Garden began a few years ago with a grant and the ambition of GU students to build it in the backyard of the Saint Peter Faber House. It provides food for students and community members to pick themselves, with a goal of providing fresh produce to the community. There are various fruits and vegetables every season that are maintained by the Office of Sustainability and student volunteers.
Spokane is a lucky city in terms abundance of produce. It can be tricky to get around Spokane without a car, but with options such as LINC deliveries and the availability of local produce within the COG, you can feel good about your options nearby.