by Adam Doucet
Farmers markets are popping up all over the state as a result of the nation’s switch to fresh, healthier diets. And Nicholls State University is no differnet.
The Nicholls Farmers’ Market began offering students healthier and fresher food items at the beginning of the Fall 2015 semester and is held once a month in the Donald G. Bollinger Memorial Student Union. The market aims to provide students with an outlet to purchase healthy foods that are grown locally.
About 90 percent of the fruits and vegetables come from farms in Belle Chasse, Amite, Hammond, Ponchatoula, Independence, Sunset, and Tickfaw, Louisiana.
Norman Hunt, the head chef at Nicholls, makes all of the jams, jellies, and pickles by using foods and resources from the farm. Chef Hunt works closely with the vendors in order to select the items that will be sold based on what items are in season and which items are freshest.
“Did I mention they are delicious?”
says Kristen Anselmi, Marketing and Communications Specialist for Auxiliary Services at Nicholls. “Although we do not generate a lot of revenue with this event, our main goal is to provide students with a ‘farm-to-table’ experience at Nicholls. Our efforts have been so successful that faculty, staff, and even Ms. Jeanne Murphy (University President Bruce Murphy’s wife) frequents the market.”
Anselmi says research conducted before starting the market showed a more health conscious generation now makes up the largest portion of university students. This research also found that approximately 65 percent of students polled expressed that healthier food options influenced their customer behavior and satisfaction with on campus dining.
Anselmi says, “We want to fulfill the needs of our students by providing them with these opportunities.”