Plate of the Union, a grassroots campaign calling for bold action to reform the nation’s food system, launched a new youth-driven organizing effort called the Plate of the Union Campus Challenge. A video, featuring chef Sam Talbot and chef, food advocate, and Food Policy Action co-founder Tom Colicchio, was released urging college students to join the effort.
The Campus Challenge is a competition for students to develop and execute a campus outreach plan to drive engagement around food issues in the 2016 election. A panel of celebrity chefs, food advocates, elected officials, writers, and policy experts will judge campus submissions and announce winning teams in April. The competition will be focused in key battleground states including North Carolina, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Iowa, and Colorado.
“We’ve seen countless times the power and vision of young people to move the needle on our world’s most pressing issues,” says Anim Steel, co-founder of Real Food Generation and Campus Challenge Judge. “Transforming our food system is an issue our next president must address and together, with our nation’s young leaders, we will fight for a food system that is fair, healthy and good for the environment.”
Grand prize winners will receive $5,000 in funding to execute their plan, as well as a visit to their campus from Tom Colicchio and other prominent chefs. Three runners-up will be selected, receiving a $2,500 prize for their organizing efforts.
The Campus Challenge judging panel includes:
- Tom Colicchio, chef, restaurateur, Food Policy Action co-founder.
- Sam Kass, NBC News Senior Food Analyst, chef and former White House Senior Policy Advisor for Nutrition.
- Congresswoman Chellie Pingree, U.S. House of Representatives.
- Anna Lappé, author, co-founder of the Small Planet Institute and director of Real Food Media.
- Karen Washington, urban farmer and community activist.
- Sam Talbot, chef and restaurateur.
- Anim Steel, co-founder of Real Food Generation.
- Raj Patel, award-winning writer, activist and academic.
- Joann Lo, Co-Director of the Food Chain Workers Alliance.