No fancy mathematics needed to calculate the impact of what “Back to School” means for all of us here at Firsthand Foods and the more than 60 local livestock farmers participating in our supply network. For one thing, our restaurant customers see a significant up-tic in business. Sales at Bull City Burger & Brewery increase over 15 percent as soon as Duke students arrive on campus. When this delicious downtown eatery sells more burgers, we sell more meat and our farmers sell more animals. It’s as simple as that.
When classes start today at UNC-Chapel Hill, Carolina Dining Services will begin serving 10,000 meals to the students who frequent Rams Head & Top of Lenoir dining halls. Thanks to student activism and creative menu planning by Executive Chef, Michael Gueiss, CDS now routinely sources sustainably-raised proteins, including Firsthand Foods’ pasture-raised pork and beef. CDS aims to serve over 17% “real food” in their dining halls as measured by the Real Food Calculator. We’re proud to be an important part of that effort and look forward to another high impact semester working with CDS and all of our customers to support real working farms and rural communities throughout North Carolina.