Bon Appétit to host “Meet the Grower” event in Leutner

Brian Sherman, Staff Reporter

Want to know where the dining hall food comes from?

Today at 3 p.m. in Leutner Dining Hall, Bon Appetit, the campus dining hall provider, will be holding a “Meet the Grower” event with Mary Donnell, the CEO of Green City Growers, one of the many local suppliers of food to CWRU’s campus.

Green City Growers is a maintainer of a 3.25 acre greenhouse only a few miles away from campus. The greenhouse, which started in February of 2013, is the largest food producing urban greenhouse in the nation. Green City Growers provides CWRU with lettuce and other leaf vegetables year-round. Its a member of the Evergreen Cooperative System, created to facilitate local, worker-owned job creation.

At the “Meet the Grower” event, Ms. Donnell will talk to students about her organization’s greenhouse and what products they provide to the dining halls. Bon Appetit Chef Robbie Washington will also lead a chef demonstration using Green City Growers products and highlight how the chefs use their produce in the dining halls.

“It’s a great opportunity to come out and learn about our local partners and how we make our food,” said Bon Appetit Management Company Midwest Fellow Alyse Festenstein.

Since 1999, Bon Appetit’s Farm to Fork campaign required all of the dining halls they work with to source at least 20 percent of their food within 150 miles of the location. Bon Appetit at CWRU, thanks to its over 30 food producing partners in the Northeast Ohio area, is well above this minimum, sourcing approximately 25 to 30 percent of its food from local sources such Green City Growers, equating to roughly 1.2 million to 1.7 million dollars kept within the Greater Cleveland community.