As a student at College of The Desert, I notice a lack of healthy food on campus. It is a struggle to find healthy food that will support my mind and body throughout ten-hour school days. After speaking with students and administration, I realized that I was not alone in wanting healthier food choices on campus. Many people have a problem eating at the school café, and often just avoid it all together. Inspiration to change our food options at COD came from learning about The Healthy Life Challenge taking place in schools throughout the Coachella Valley. College is a place of higher education where people take time to expand their knowledge. It should also be place that represents healthy lifestyle choices.
I decided to initiate change by taking action. First, I appealed to friends at school to help with this issue. We surveyed the campus, and found direction through the student services. We sat down as a group and came up with some workable solutions. Our ideas were presented to the café owner during the college food service meeting. Much to our surprise, everything we proposed was well received and accepted. The administration and faculty were excited to see students creating change rather than complaining. We also engaged members of our student body council who attended the meeting to create a feedback box for the café.
Next, we identified two healthy dishes for the café to implement immediately and several healthy snacks for next semester. A few of our group members gave out samples of the new items in their classes. We created coupons and flyers that we passed out around campus, and spent the rest of the semester talking about the changes. I also promoted the new café items through speeches as different class projects.
We are delighted to now see healthier choices offered at the café and feel confident that this will increase their business. Mimi Lee, the owner of the café, looks forward to our help next semester to continue reinventing menu options.
As students, we have very hectic lives, and it is very fulfilling to know that we are creating change that benefits all students.
Like every school, there are many challenges on our campus. I always hear complaints and hardly ever hear solution-oriented conversation. Students can be part of the solution. A great way to start is to gather your closest friends and create a team for change. The change starts now. Today school cafes, and tomorrow, childhood obesity.
As President Barak Obama once said, “Change will not come if we wait for some other person, or if we wait for some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.” I agree that if each person took on one issue, the world would have far less problems. Living healthy is a choice that has a huge impact every day. Schools are the first place we learn about the choices we have in life. Schools should be the first place we learn how to create a healthy lifestyle.