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UAlbany Turns to Local Farmers for Produce

Contact: Catherine Herman (518) 956-8150

ALBANY, N.Y. (October 30, 2006) -- The University at Albany's 7,400 dormitory-based students have a bit more on their plates this fall -- from local farmers. University Auxiliary Services (UAS), which, through its Chartwells food service, handles the food purchasing and distribution for residence halls and the Campus Center, is doubling their purchases of produce from local farmers for the 2006 semester.

In a typical year, Chartwells purchases as much as $60,000 per semester in local produce, including corn, cabbage, cucumbers, eggplant, and squash. Most popular with students are New York apples, with about a ton consumed each week in the University dining rooms. Chartwells purchases approximately 50,000 gallons of milk each semester, which is distributed locally from Sycaway Creamery in Troy.

"We're committed to continuing and expanding our support for the local farming community," said Julia Filippone, executive director of UAS. "Their produce is superior and we're pleased to direct our spending power to the communities in which we live."

Most of the University's local produce is purchased through distributors who work with farms in Albany, Schenectady, Saratoga, Greene, and Columbia counties.

In a further demonstration of its support for local farms, the University held a Farmer's Market on the uptown campus during its "UAlbany Goes Green" kick-off on October 13, a comprehensive environmental initiative encouraging the University at Albany faculty, staff, and students to "think and act green" by embracing the University's responsibility to conserve, recycle, and beautify the campus and environment. Chartwells, the University food service, donated $3,960 in proceeds from the Farmer's Market to the Regional Food Bank. Also donating to the Food Bank were UAS vendors Canteen, with $500, and $1,000 each from Barnes ands Noble and Coca-Cola, as well as UAS with a matching donation of $1,000.

The University, along with the state's Department of Agriculture, will also host a New York Apple Festival on the residence dining rooms in October. In addition, says Filippone, the University is looking at ways to purchase local beef and meat products, and at converting cooking grease into viable bio-fuel.


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