UNC’s campus in in dire need of raw, whole food at a price that fits the average college student’s budget. The USDA defines areas of Chapel Hill, which includes the university’s campus as a whole, as a food desert – rural town where at least one third of the population lives more than one mile from a supermarket, farmers’ market, or other location from which fresh food is obtainable. There is nowhere on campus for the Carolina community to buy fresh produce. This often leaves students, especially those with no meal plan, eating what’s cheap, convenient, and accessible. On UNC’s campus, this includes Subway, Chick-Fil-A, Alpine Bagel and “The Pit Stop”, of which serves countless other grab-and-go options. Good nutrition should be an essential part of the constantly active college student’s diet.
One of The Sonder Market’s core tenets is shifting the perception of a sustainable food system from “elitist” to “accessible”. Currently, mostly due to the nation’s present subsidy layout, fresh produce, especially ecologically sound produce, is found at higher prices than middle of the aisle processed goods. Many are forced into choosing cheap, accessible, and convenient processed food over fresh, whole, and nourishing produce, much like the UNC community.