Executive Summary Problem Description Nutrition is poor among college students in America including students at the University of Oregon. Due to convenience and affordability students are choosing to eat unhealthy which leads to poor nutrition causing health problems and deteriorated student performance. Opportunity We propose a new way to promote students to a healthier lifestyle through convenience and affordability. Through good nutrition comes benefits, such as improved academic performance, increased energy levels, and less sick days. We see an opportunity to bring healthy alternatives to all students on campus. Solution The University of Oregon farmers market will benefit students, staff, and community in the following ways: Convenience: The location of the Memorial Quad will be easily accessible and there will be minimal traffic congestion. Having the farmers market will eliminate the need for students and staff to travel to a grocery store, making it easier for those that don’t have transport. Surrounding community members who aren’t able to make it to other community farmers’ market will have the opportunity to visit the campus market. Health Benefits: Having the opportunity to easily access healthy produce will attract students to have better diets. The market will be a type of promotion to encourage and make it simple for students to eat better. Local Farmers: Since the University of Oregon farmers’ market will attract thousands of students to visit per day, the local farmers who have been running the small farm businesses must make a higher profit than they used to. The reason is that small local farmers have a competitive advantage to offer affordable prices in comparison to big companies. As a result, local farmer throughout the Eugene area will benefit. UO Reputation: The University of Oregon strives to be an environmentally friendly campus. Having a farmers’ market on campus preserve this image. All produce will remain local, limiting the transportation and environmental impact. PROPOSAL TO IMPLEMENT A HEALTHIER CHOICE IN STUDENT NUTRITION FOR UO STUDENT COMMUNITY Presented by: PayDay To: Ron Bramhall, Director, Associated Students of the University of Oregon October 31, 2012 _________________________________________________________________________________________________ PROBLEM STATEMENT As part of the Associated Students of the University of Oregon (ASUO), the purpose of your existence is to provide for a more social and diverse cultural, thus improving the UO student education and physical developments. In addition, with the confirmation of the recent “over-realized” fund that the ASUO possess, we propose a new way to promote students to a healthier lifestyle on campus through diversifying their choices in their daily nutrition intake. SITUATION ANALYSIS It is estimated today that there are more then 18 million students between the age ranges of 18 and 24 that are currently enrolled in the U.S. higher educational institutions. Of the 18 million, 39% of the college students in the U.S. are considerer overweight or obese. It seems that College students today are young, educated, fun, hip and fat. Generally, college is a huge transition for most young adults, leaping into a new life filled with new challenges, opportunities and ample freedom. This shift from living at home with the convince of healthy home cooked meals and caring parents to living independently in college with microwavable meals are just one aspect as to why the obesity rate is rising at an astonishing rate in young Americans. Today’s college students don’t define the youthful, appealing, and energetic attributes we are accustomed to, but rather today’s college students are the poster-kids for American’s ever expanding waistline. A student’s good nutrition should not end upon leaving for college. However, with the convenience and affordability of fast food restaurants and microwavable meals, most students are fall under the influence of unhealthy food choices. Students today strive to be healthier, but lack the motivation to do so. With students not eating a healthy balanced diet, students are giving up many benefits as well. Some of these benefits include increased academic performance, reduced chance of getting sick and increased energy levels. We have collected information on 98 students about student nutrition. This information is outlined below: The average student rates themselves a 6.5 out of 10 on how healthy they think they are (10 being extremely healthy) 42% of students spend less than $25 dollars a week on food 67% of students shop at the closest grocery store, regardless of price 56% of students walk to the grocery store because they have do not have a form of transportation 88% of students said that convenience was a factor in their eating habits 78% of students said that cost was a factor in their eating habits From this information, we have concluded that the convenience and cost of food is the biggest problem for college students. Healthy student nutrition at the University of Oregon is declining because there is a lack in convenient options for healthy food choices, close to campus. There are currently four grocery stores within three miles of campus. These include Market of Choice, Safeway, Albertsons, and Whole Foods. These stores are neither convenient nor affordable for the majority of college students here at the University of Oregon. We have discussed two main ways in which we bring UO community a more convenient and affordable options in preserving a healthy campus. There are pros and cons to both options. Providing students with a way of transportation, such as a weekly bus route to an affordable grocery store, would enable students to travel further away towards the discount grocery stores. This would take cost, but not the convenience. College students have little spare time and most do not want to spend their time shopping for groceries. This may also cause a financial strain on the ASUO. Hiring a nutritionist to help students plan out future meals. This would bring knowledge to students looking for advice on healthy eating habits. However, we are unsure of how many students would actually take advantage of this opportunity. Approximately 55% of students know about the current nutritionist we have here on campus; however 0% of those students have ever made an appointment with them. Students need a convenient and affordable option to enhance their nutrition. With our knowledge of student eating habits and your ability to organize events with the community, we can positively impact this UO community through providing a healthier choice in daily nutrition. SOLUTION There are many fast food restaurants and convenience stores, but a few supermarkets nearby the University of Oregon campus. These unhealthy fast food restaurants include Dairy Queen, McDonalds, Qdoba Mexican Grill, Wendy's and Seven-Eleven. Many UO students would rather go to these fast food restaurants instead of buying healthy foods from supermarkets and this is due to the fact of locations convince. Additionally, since we know that the biggest influence on students’ eating decisions is based on convenience, we propose to the ASUO to support and fund an on-campus farmer’s market. The market will provide healthier food choices with the addition of convenience. The market will stimulate the local Eugene economy and also promote a healthier environment. At the same time UO students and staff can immediately purchase healthy foods after classes which saves them time, budget, and enhances the quality of living. Stakeholder The on-campus farmers market brings opportunities as well as advantages to the stakeholders, includes fair vendors, the residents in the Eugene area, and the merchandising from the restaurants around the campus. Local food farmers, faculty, and most importantly UO students will benefit from the implementation of the farmers market. For local farmers, they will encourage approximate thousands of students to the market per day. For UO students, moreover, they can easily purchase healthy foods at a favorable price in the market. Location The weekly farmer’s market will take place in the University of Oregon’s Memorial Quad. We decided this would the best location because it offers the following benefits. Easily accessible to students, staff, and community Not a traffic hazard for students going to class Accessible nearby street for easy loading and unloading It has an outstanding stream of students, faculties and visitors walking by during the busiest hours of 10am to 2pm. The quad has a big enough area to have a significant sized market. The booths will be on the grass area facing the pedestrian sidewalks. The sidewalks will become the medium where students, staff and community memebers can get around to the different booths. Unlike the serious traffic during the bi-annual street fair, the Memorial Quad will prevent traffic congestion while UO students are going to classes or shopping in the market. Time The farmer’s market is going to be held once or twice a week, on Monday and/or Wednesday. Having it once or twice a week will give students the opportunity to conveniently buy a weeks worth of fresh produce where before most students who did buy fresh produce bought two or three weeks worth. We are confident that the farmer’s market will be very successful if the majority of students conveniently come across it. With student traffic in front of the Oregon Memorial Quad being prominent between the hours of 10am and 2pm, the farmers market will be most effective during these hours. We will be calling Lane County’s cite manager Chris Longest to see what days and times would work best with their schedule. Regulation and Policy The University of Oregon requires a contract for any non-school vendor to sale on the campus. We are going to investigate if the Lane County Farmer’s Market will have to sign with the Eugene Chamber of Commerce or with the University of Oregon’s Purchasing and Contracting Services. If any contracts require funds, we propose that the ASUO covers those costs. Since the Lane County’s Farmer’s Market will not have to pay any fees, we propose to them that we will get premium prices here on campus. The University of Oregon will provide the quad for the location of the market. We will need to call Chris Longest to see what type of equipment they will bring and what they need provided as well as how much help they will need with setup and takedown. We will have to hire UO Event Services to accommodate the market by providing equipment and helping with physical labor. This will also be capital that the ASUO will have to cover. BENEFITS Students The farmers market on campus will provide a very convenient location for students to buy produce. This weekly event will be available for students who possibly may have had a hard time getting to a grocery store. It will also eliminate the travel time of making a grocery trip. Students will be presented with the favorable prices that local farmers offer. For those students that normally didn’t eat healthy, having a convenient localized market will attract students to eat healthier as well as being cost effective. Staff and Community University of Oregon students are not going to be the only beneficiaries from implementation of this farmer’s market. The staff and community and the University of Oregon’s identity of a healthier campus life will also benefit. The accessibility and convenience of the market will provide staff and community more opportunities to eat healthy. Buying locally manifests University of Oregon’s goal to be more ecofriendly: instead of students buying produce that possibly have been transported in fossil consuming vehicles. Successful story A campus farmers market has had success in the University of South Carolina. The university implemented the weekly farmers market in the beginning of June 2010 to August 3rd, 2010. The farmers market at the university has earned an astonishing achievement and has become the national universities reference to promote healthy living on campus. According to the official University of South Carolina website, “Beyond healthy living, the market has reinforced that buying local benefits the community economically and environmentally. It’s good for people to have a closer connection to local food sources” (Harring, 2010). Within two months, due to the competitive price for local foods, thousands of students were encouraged and attracted to the new on campus market. More Importantly, it accommodated healthy foods as part of students’ daily dietary habits.