The Sustainable Food Corps of Virginia Tech (SFC), founded Spring of 2009, fosters a relationship between members of the Virginia Tech community, members of the Blacksburg community, and their food. The SFC has organized a small student-run garden on campus near Smithfield Plantation, but the main attraction that gives them recognition is the occurrence of their regular, free meals at Fieldstone Methodist Church. The SFC is not religiously affiliated, but rather uses the space with permission from the church, who graciously provides a large and flexible space for the group complete with two kitchen areas.
As Farms & Fields is a symbol of Dining Services’ commitment in working toward food sustainability and community, The Sustainable Food Corps serves the student body in the same way. The organization is still young but it is strong. The SFC hammers out often well-attended community meals once a month. The group is working toward expanding their educational and gardening activities in addition to their meals, which have earned them a well-deserved amount of respect. Food variety and volume at the community meals depends on the time of year and the donations (when the farmers are in growing season fresh produce tend to be more abundant), but the SFC always comes out and comes out strong by providing live music and good vibes at every meal. Volunteers, and most especially the impressive Elyssa Bowen (community meal coordinator) solicit donations from local businesses, talk to farmers at the local market, advertise for the meal, collect the food before the meal, cook, set-up, and clean for the event. The meal is always 100% free, but donations are accepted. A very dedicated student force make this meal possible.
If you are interested in fostering a community-based food system beyond the plate at Virginia Tech Dining Services, the Sustainable Food Corps could be a great compliment. The group typically meets at 6:30pm in the Litton Reaves Lounge on Wednesdays.