Food Day Festivities Kick Off Oct. 11

Monthlong celebration features farmers market, field trip and compost sifting event

The UM Office of Sustainability hosts its annual Food Day Festival and Farmer’s Market, a celebration of real food featuring a farmers market, free samples, giveaways, educational displays and more, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Oct.18 on Galtney-Lott Plaza. Photo by Kevin Bain/Ole Miss Digital Imaging Services

OXFORD, Miss. – The University of Mississippi will observe Food Day, a national celebration of “real food” and the importance of sustainable food systems, throughout October.

The UM Office of Sustainability hosts its annual Food Day Festival and Farmer’s Market from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Oct.18 on Galtney-Lott Plaza. The event will feature a variety of local vendors and farmers, along with informational tables for campus food and wellness groups.

Participants can purchase fresh produce, try food samples and learn more about local food systems.

“The purpose of Food Day is to introduce students, faculty and staff to ways they can participate in our local food system,” said Kendall McDonald, project manager for the UM Office of Sustainability. “The event highlights those working in food sustainability in Oxford, including farmers, farmers markets, local organizations and businesses, and campus groups.

“People are often pleasantly surprised by how easy and fun it is to support local and while also decreasing the environmental impact of their food choices.”

Additional university-sponsored Food Day events include an Oct. 11 field trip to Home Place Pastures in Como, where students can see firsthand a sustainable pastured animal operation. Transportation is provided through the Office of Sustainability, but spots are limited and registration is required. Reserve your spot here.

“Meat production can be one of the most resource-intensive practices of our food industry, but when supporting a responsible farm like Home Place Pastures, animal, environmental and human well-being are taken into consideration,” McDonald said.

Lenoir Dining, the campus student-run restaurant, will feature a menu created from locally and sustainably sourced ingredients for the week of Oct. 15. Reservations are required.

Food Day campus activities will wrap up Oct. 31 with a “Spooky Compost Sift-a-Thon,” which offers a hands-on opportunity to learn about the Ole Miss Compost Program and help sift through the finished soil amendment. Volunteers who come in costume can win prizes.

“Including a composting event in our Food Day observation is important because food waste is such a critical component of our food system,” said Lindsey Abernathy, associate director of the Office of Sustainability. “It helps students think about what happens to food after it leaves our plates, and the impacts that has on the environment, economy and human health.”

Community organizations also are celebrating Food Day. Good Food for Oxford Schools will host Food Day programming Oct. 24 at Oxford Elementary School. Volunteers opportunities are available.

The Oxford Community Market also will host a kid-friendly “Haunted Harvest” from 3 to 6:30 p.m. Oct. 30 at the Old Armory Pavilion. The community market will remain open through late November.

For more about Food Day on campus and in the community, visit