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UK-Aramark Announce Creation Of 'Food Connection' Program

Another key component of the University of Kentucky’s new contract with Aramark for dining services is being fleshed out. 

On Tuesday the parties announced the creation of a comprehensive “Food Connection” program which will be housed in UK’s College of Agriculture, Food and Environment.  CAFÉ Dean Nancy Cox says such public-private partnerships are becoming more prevalent on college campuses.

“The university has a hard time funding all its programs so public-private partnerships are quite essential but our students are expected to have the opportunity to interact at the ground floor level with the Aramark employees, we think they’ll become more entrepreneurial…we hope we’ll get some students working on developing new food products, maybe some students working on developing new solutions for nutrition in the Appalachian and other regions.”

Office of Sustainability Coordinator Shane Tedder says the program will have a ripple effect throughout the campus.

“Food is one of those issues that easily embody sustainability.  You can see the economic connections, the people connections, and the environment connections.  So it’s probably one of the easiest ways to introduce people to the concept of sustainability development, or sustainability in general," Tedder said.

Former AG Dean Scott Smith has been tabbed to temporarily head up $ 5 M program which includes funding for internships, fellowships, research grants and other initiatives…all with an emphasis on local food production.

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