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USC Goes Green: More Gardens, Locally Sourced Food, Markets

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Students, faculty, and staff at the University of Southern California have dirt-y dreams and vegetable visions for their campus, and for all of Los Angeles. A panel convened yesterday to discuss "The Politics of Food," and how to grow and use food in the local community, reports the Daily Trojan.Among the goals of USC's food service are to implement "tray-less dining," and source more food locally. USC already gets some of their food from local growers, but is aiming to increase that amount. Another tenet of the schools "Master Plan" is to "renovat[e] the University Village to create space for community gardens and local farmers markets." USC launched a community garden on campus last year.

Building gardens and hosting markets on campus not only gives students, staff, and faculty access to better, fresher food, but it also creates an opportunity to build community: “There’s a disconnect between the community and USC, and USC needs to embrace the surrounding community and introduce to students smaller, local restaurants and food sources," said Kris Klinger, director of USC Hospitality.

Also on the panel was Florence Nishida, a community leader and gardener who has worked on projects with USC faculty in the past. Nishida's vision for USC is expansive--enough to embrace all Angelenos: “L.A. is the perfect place for us to grow our own food. I would love to see a vegetable garden in everyone’s front yard.”