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Grant Funds New Plant-Based Eatery at Southern

This fall, Southern Adventist University will launch a new whole-foods, plant-based eatery on campus called The Garden at KR’s, thanks to a generous grant from Ardmore Institute of Health. As a granting organization with a vision for “a future where healthy lifestyles will be the preferred method to prevent, treat, and reverse chronic diseases,” Ardmore Institute of Health has shown its support for this project with a total of $160,000.

The Garden is a partnership between Southern’s Food Services team, School of Nursing, and Vegetarian Culinary Arts program. The idea originated with a group of faculty and staff who share a passion for increasing the plant-based food options on campus.

“Our vision of providing more food options that nourish the body, soul, and spirit is becoming a reality,” said Cindy Rima, DNP, ’86 and ’18, a nursing professor who was instrumental in securing the grant. “I look forward to these vibrantly flavorful meals being shared in a space that invites all to engage in this culinary adventure.”

The university hired Maggie Pickens, ’15 and ’18, a graduate of its culinary program, to serve as the chef and director of the new eatery. To gauge campus interest, this spring she offered food tastings, allowing students and employees to sample possible recipes. 

“The meals I tried were healthy, tasty, and affordable,” said Lisa Clouzet, ’01 and ’06, counselor in Student Support Services. “I am grateful for this new lunch option and look forward to trying more good food at The Garden this fall.”

The new eatery will complement Southern’s existing campus food options, which include CK2, the Dining Hall, The Kayak, and Village Market Deli; they offer a variety of hot and cold menu items throughout the day. 

“Our goal with The Garden is to provide a plant-centered dining experience for Southern’s students, faculty, and community,” Pickens said. “We look forward to introducing new menu items for the start of the new school year!”


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