Portland State University
Food for Thought was a project started in 2002 by students who wanted more options for on-campus dining. Specifically, these students wanted food alternatives on campus that were sustainable, cheap, and delicious. There were a handful of campaigns done by student groups that tried to bring more socially and environmentally conscious food options to campus. The initial organizing to create Food for Thought happened in 2000, as “Friends of Food for Thought”, connected to the student groups Students for Unity and the Environmental Club. They discovered an unused kitchen space in the basement of the student union building, that was previously used as a student dining hall, and before that, it was a beer hall. The group decided to serve an exclusively vegetarian and vegan menu, with rotating specials. Today, they are still serving an exclusively vegan/vegetarian menu, using as much local and organic produce and ingredients as possible. Food for Thought, along with being student run, operates as a collective, and makes decisions based on a consensus model. In compliance with its institutional history, Food for Thought continues to flourish while contending with both Aramark and PSU policies, which seem to, at all opportunities, undermine FFT’s legitimacy and growth.