CoFED partners with young people of color from poor and working-class backgrounds to build food and land co-ops.

UCSB Isla Cart

UC Santa Barbara

The Isla Vista Food Co-op emerged from a student’s independent study project through the UCSB Sociology Department in 1971. Located about 2 miles from the UCSB campus, the Isla Vista Food Co-op employs many UCSB students and sources food from UCSB graduates. Today, students on campus are initiating another food coop--this time in the form of a food cart that sells prepared foods.

In Fall 2010, a group called the Student Food Collective at UCSB was formed with the goal of establishing a sustainable food cart on the campus. The mission broadened in the first year to include many sustainable food education efforts, food justice campaigns, sustainable food advocacy, and more. Student Food Collective and AS Business Services partnered in the 2011-2012 academic year to establish the Food Cart Working Group, which today leads the effort to establish a sustainable food cart on the campus. In Fall 2012, the Student Food Collective partnered with UCSB Sustainability to establish two internship positions for students working on the business plan design. Recently The UC Santa Barbara (UCSB) student-run sustainable food cart has changed the name to the Food Cart Working Group, but still embodies the same goals. As of 2013 the Food Cart Working Group (FCWG) decided on a menu consisting of a Mediterranean dishes. The menu has not been finalized, but progress is being made to compile some favorite dishes made from fresh, sustainable ingredients. With business plans and health documents being finalized, the FCWG is steadily moving towards a launch date. The FCWG aims to develop an inclusive community with student input built upon providing affordable, nutritious, and high quality food. Active promotion of healthy living through education and awareness of social justice issues is the base of student empowerment while promoting sustainable practices.

They say it best:

The time is ripe for a sustainable, fresh, healthy and delicious food option on campus, sold at an affordable price and run by the students for our campus community. Our goal is to establish a student run food cart on campus that embodies cooperative principles, providing food that will not only satisfy our taste buds and nourish our bodies, but also support our communities and foster a deeper relationship with the earth and the food we eat. We want to create a hub for education about cooking, eating, gardening, business skills, and getting people connected to the vibrant agricultural community that is Santa Barbara County.