University of Wisconsin Housing and Food Services has partnered with Madison Gas and Electric to bring an electric food truck to campus in an effort to expand accessible sustainability.
The truck will be fully electricand will offer locally sourced, seasonal food options with a particular focus on vegetarian and vegan choices, said sustainability coordinator Olivia Dikeman.
Students will be able to see the truck’s location and schedule on the University Housing website, as the current plan is to offer breakfast and lunch at campus locations on a rotating basis, the coordinator said. Electric Eats student Libby Breider in an email to the Badger Herald.
“The electric food truck is the first of its kind for UW-Madison,” Breider said. “We place great emphasis on supporting local businesses and gardens to reduce our environmental footprint.”
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In addition to providing more dining choices for UW students, staff and faculty, Breider said another goal of the food truck is to raise awareness of the importance of sustainable food choices that are also affordable.
The Food Truck Task Force — made up of organizations from across campus — even worked with a UW class to determine which food packaging company had the smallest environmental impact for the food truck to partner with. , because another main goal of the food truck is to be as low-waste as possible, Dikeman said.
The student-led project is funded by the Green fund through the Office of Sustainability after a UW student, now a graduate, conducted most of the research and cost analysis to write a grant proposal last year, said Dikeman.
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The task force also worked to build strong relationships with area farmers and food producers to provide a menu with all locally sourced ingredients, Dikeman said.
“These connections will be important in increasing knowledge and awareness of what can be done to be sustainable around campus,” Breider said.
Although the weather has been somewhat uncooperative, Dikeman and Breider hope the truck launch will happen before the end of the semester.
Additionally, they plan to make the food truck available during on-campus events, outside of its weekday operating hours.
“I think if this food truck does really well, [and] hope to have more on campus, [it] can really lead to huge advances in sustainability, in terms of energy use in our restaurants and making sustainable food options available to everyone,” Dikeman said.