Partnership to support food justice initiatives
By Jillian Beck | Cal State LA News Service
There’s a new restaurant at Cal State LA that has hungry college students lining up for healthy culinary delights: baked salmon over greens, sesame teriyaki tofu with brown rice, Jamaican jerk chicken, and citrus pecan salads.
Everytable is a grab-and-go restaurant, whose mission is to make nutritious, fresh food affordable and accessible to all. The Jan. 28 grand opening of its store on the campus of Cal State LA featured remarks from Everytable founder and CEO Sam Polk, Cal State LA President William A. Covino and Executive Vice President Jose A. Gomez.
“Everytable is proud to partner with one of L.A.’s premier universities and is grateful for the visionary support and leadership of President William A. Covino and Cal State LA Executive Vice President Jose A. Gomez in structuring this innovative partnership which not only brings healthy, affordable food to campus, but also allows for en masse education and activation of the student body,” Polk said.
Everytable seeks to enable all communities to have access to quality food and help eliminate food injustice by basing its menu prices on the incomes of residents in the neighborhoods of each store.
“We are very proud to join with Everytable to offer this healthy, affordable option to our community,” Covino said. “It coincides with our Mind Matters initiative, which is dedicated to the inner well-being of our students.”
At the grand opening, students, faculty and staff enjoyed free snack and beverage samples, lively music from Golden Eagle Radio and giveaways. Representatives from the office of California State Assembly Majority Leader Ian Calderon also attended the festivities. The store is located at the entrance of the University Library.
Students posed for selfies with Cal State LA’s mascot Eddie the Golden Eagle while donning brightly colored buttons carrying statements like, “Eat well, do good” and “Healthy food is a human right.”
The new store is Everytable’s first location at a university and most of its staff members are Cal State LA students.
“It’s great to be part of the team that’s helping people on campus eat healthier for affordable prices,” said Evelyn Gomez, a first-year pre-nursing major and store staff member.
Cal State LA’s proceeds from Everytable will help establish a community impact fund to address food insecurity and hunger and foster emerging entrepreneurship at the university and in the community. Everytable also plans to host a series of educational events to activate students around food justice issues.
“Everytable is the first restaurant in the United States to partner with a university to fight for food justice, stamp out food deserts, and create an action network of students, faculty, staff and the community,” Jose Gomez said. “That’s what Cal State LA is all about—transforming the lives of our students, our communities and our region.”
The new store at Cal State LA is Everytable’s sixth, with others located in Baldwin Hills, Compton, Downtown Los Angeles, Santa Monica, and South Los Angeles. Two additional stores in Watts and Brentwood are scheduled to open in February. Stores in underserved areas sell meals for $5 to $6, and in more affluent areas, the same meals are priced $8 to $9.
To ensure that everyone can afford its meals, its unique pricing model enables every neighborhood to enjoy healthy, affordable meals.
Photo: Everytable founder and CEO Sam Polk (l) and Cal State LA Executive Vice President Jose A. Gomez (r) with the university's mascot and student brand ambassadors. (J. Emilio Flores/Cal State LA)
# # #
California State University, Los Angeles is the premier comprehensive public university in the heart of Los Angeles. Cal State LA is ranked number one in the United States for the upward mobility of its students. Cal State LA is dedicated to engagement, service, and the public good, offering nationally recognized programs in science, the arts, business, criminal justice, engineering, nursing, education, and the humanities. Founded in 1947, the University serves more than 28,000 students and has more than 245,000 distinguished alumni.
Cal State LA is home to the critically-acclaimed Luckman Fine Arts Complex, Pat Brown Institute for Public Affairs, Hertzberg-Davis Forensic Science Center, Hydrogen Research and Fueling Facility, Billie Jean King Sports Complex and the TV, Film and Media Center. For more information, visit www.CalStateLA.edu.