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UA Food Day Fair brings health and wellness to campus

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The UA Food Day Fair featured free, healthy foods as well as several games, giveaways and interactive exhibits.

The University of Arizona Food Day Fair was held on Nov. 1 to promote healthy, affordable and sustainable food around campus. 

The UA Food Day Fair featured free, healthy foods as well as several games, giveaways and interactive exhibits. Many groups offered free fruit to attendees of the event, and the games and exhibits promoted and taught healthy eating habits. 

“We are celebrating healthy, local and sustainably produced food,” said Sarah Marrs, nutrition counselor and UA Food Day Fair coordinator. “We invited campus groups that fall in line with the priorities of Food Day.”

“This event highlights some of the student groups that are doing such wonderful things with food,” Marrs said. “It’s a great way for students to engage with different campus groups and learn about the different clubs that are related to food that they can get involved with.”

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Marrs gave a special thanks to the Healthiest Campus Coalition, the Department of Nutritional Sciences and the students volunteering in the event that made the Food Day Fair possible. 

Over a dozen different UA programs, organizations, clubs, groups and initiatives were represented at the fair. Students for Sustainability, Controlled Environment Agriculture Student Association, Compost Cats, Nutrition Navigators, Body Smart Initiative, UA Green Fund, UA Campus Pantry, Nutritional Science Club, Veggie Cats, Sports Nutrition Club, MycoCats, the School of Animal and Comparative Biomedical Science and the Department of Nutritional Sciences were all present at the fair. 

The UA Campus Pantry held a drive for non-perishable food items at the fair. The UA Campus Pantry provides staple foods at no-cost to the UA’s students and staff.

The Body Smart Initiative had a booth at the UA Food Day Fair to promote their message of self-worth and positive body image on campus. 

“We’re teaming up with Food Day to get people to become more aware of what they’re eating,” said Alexa Frisch, senior Wildcat and Body Smart events intern. “We’re doing an exercise to make you stop and be aware of the emotions that food can bring you, so focusing on if it makes you happy or full rather than trying to keep up with calories or body image.” 

Veggie Cats is a student vegan and vegetarian club on campus, and gave out free bananas at the fair.

“We want to get together all the vegans and vegetarians on campus for socials, outings, outreach, and to create a community,” said Sarah Hartley, secretary and treasurer of Veggie Cats. 

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She said Food Day is beneficial because “It’s really important to be conscious of what we’re eating and how our food impacts others. It’s really about health and awareness."

The Department of Nutritional Sciences sponsored the fair and had tables and exhibits set up at the event. 

“Nutritional Sciences is involved with teaching students to be professionals who make an impact in increasing food security and promoting nutrition as a method of disease protection,” said Ashlee Linares-Gaffer, assistant professor of practice in nutritional sciences department. “These are the reasons we’re interested at being at Food Day.” 

The UA Food Day Fair was also sponsored by the Healthiest Campus Coalition. The Healthiest Campus Coalition is a group of departments that promote health and wellness on campus that’s goal is “to make the University of Arizona the healthiest campus in the U.S.,” according to the Healthiest Campus Coalition’s website.


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