You know Leah Douglas from her two weekly columns here (In Food Policy This Week and Serious Reads) but blogging is just one of many food-related activities for Leah. As an undergrad at Brown University, she's studying agriculture and food policy and is an active campus leader in the Brown Market Shares Program, a CSA initiative that serves about 1,000 Brown students, staff, and faculty.
BMSP brings weekly shares of sustainably-grown produce, fruit, dairy, and bread to the Brown community, the majority of which is sourced from within a 20-mile radius of campus. The program provides one quarter of their shares at reduced cost because they believe that healthy, sustainable food should be available to all members of the community. BMSP is entirely student-led, and from 2010 to 2012 they've invested about $250,000 in the local agricultural economy.
So why are we telling you all this? Last week Leah received a surprise phone call from the Office of Public Engagement at the White House. That's right, the White House called Leah. She assumed it was fake, but the nice man on the other end assured her it wasn't—BMSP had been selected from thousands of applicants as one of 15 finalists for the Campus Champions of Change Challenge. Sponsored by the White House, this contest recognizes students doing good work on college campuses around the country.
So here's where you come in. Until March 3, there is a public vote to determine the top five finalists in the Challenge, who will all be recognized in a public ceremony at the White House!
"I never imagined that Market Shares would receive recognition at the national level—we started out so small just four years ago, and it would be incredibly affirming for our program and our community to make it to Washington. Your support and vote would be so much appreciated!" says Leah.
So let's help fellow SE'r Leah out!
Note: There's no lengthy registration process to vote. You can vote anonymously and/or with an e-mail address, but no password necessary.
Feel free to e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or comments.