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Because of the diverse nature of the many different restaurants and chefs Brian Henry has worked under he is highly proficient at a wide range of cuisines.

Brian’s cooking is seasonal, inventive and smart, but in no way unapproachable or fussy. When he is coaxed out of the kitchen and starts talking about food, his passion and knowledge are instantly recognizable.

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Nearly 1 in 2 university students are unhappy with their ability to access healthy, affordable food on campus

January 9, 2018, TORONTO—Access to fresh and healthy foods can contribute to better eating habits and positive health outcomes, yet nearly 1 in 2 university students are unhappy with the food served up on Ontario campuses, reveals the first ever Campus Food Report Card


The report, released today by Meal Exchange, is the most comprehensive assessment of student satisfaction with the food at Ontario universities, to date. The report finds that less than 1 in 10 students would recommend food on their campus to a friend.

University students in Ontario rely on campus food to get them through the day, and many are away from their parents and making choices about meals for the first time. Research shows that access to nutritious food can impact post-secondary students, in terms of their health, well-being, and academic performance – adequate fruit and vegetable intake has been directly linked to increases in student GPA. Yet, only 1 in 4 Ontario university students felt that food on campus had helped them maintain a healthy diet.

“Food is an essential part of campus life, and there’s definitely room for improvement on many campuses” says report author, Merryn Maynard, Program Coordinator at Meal Exchange. “The Report Card shows that students today want the opportunity to eat in a way that supports their values and their health, yet many don’t feel they have access to these options on campus”.

The Report Card also shows a marked difference between the experience of students, and the experience of the managers and directors responsible for providing campus food. Foodservice operators gave themselves a higher grade than the students surveyed did, scoring themselves an average of 79 per cent, saying they do provide locally-grown, healthy, sustainable, and accessible foods.

“We spoke to campus foodservice providers who are working within resource constraints to provide good food – yet the report suggests that where this work is taking place, students may not know about it” says Maynard. “It’s important to raise awareness of campus champions, and encourage others to invest in good food for all students”.

The full Campus Food Report Card, led by the national charity Meal Exchange, follows up on the Local Food Report that was released in early December 2017. The Campus Food Report Card contains a comprehensive assessment of student satisfaction with healthy, locally-grown, sustainable, and accessible food at Ontario universities, and includes survey responses from over 2,600 students, 15 campus food services representatives, and 35 Ontario campus food outlets.

“Postsecondary students in Canada recognize that food is connected to some of our most important social, health, and environmental issues, and they see that the purchasing power of their campuses can directly address some of the systemic problems in our food system”, says Anita Abraham, Executive Director of Meal Exchange. “Meal Exchange is working closely with campus administrators, students and food services to cultivate good food campuses and ensure students have access to the food they need to be healthy and successful”.

The Campus Food Report Card also offers short- and long-term strategies for campuses to improve, such as:

  • Provide training and opportunities for front-line staff to learn to promote local, sustainable food being served
  • Increase plant-based meal options and healthier choices, with a focus on scratch-cooking and processing of local ingredients
  • Create a multi-stakeholder committee focused on increasing student access to good food
  • In collaboration with students, develop an official university-wide policy on good food

About Meal Exchange

Meal Exchange works to elevate the voices and leadership of students across Canada to increase food security and sustainability on postsecondary campuses. The Campus Food Report Card follows up on Meal Exchange’s 2016 ‘Hungry for Knowledge’ report on student food insecurity on five Canadian campuses, which found that 2 in 5 students experienced moderate or severe food insecurity. For more information visit our website.

MEDIA CONTACT: Matt Currie, Meal Exchange, matt@mealexchange.com, 647-385-6210

Editors Note: A copy of The Campus Food Report is available upon request.

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