August 25, 2022

Grant Funds New Plant-Based Eatery on Southern Campus

Southern Adventist University will launch new initiative for healthy eating choices.

Anaya Miller, Southern Adventist University, and Adventist Review
[Photo: Southern Adventist University]

Southern Adventist University (SAU) in Collegedale, Tennessee, United States, will launch a new whole-foods, plant-based eatery on campus in the fall 2022. It will be called The Garden at KR’s, and it will become a reality 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 grant of US$160,000, SAU leaders reported.

The Garden is a partnership between Southern’s Food Services team, the School of Nursing, and the 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,” Cindy Rima, a nursing professor who was instrumental in securing the grant, said. “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, 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,” Lisa Clouzet, counselor in Student Support Services, said. “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.”

About Southern Adventist University

Southern Adventist University is a co-educational institution established by the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Collegedale, Tennessee, United States. The school offers doctoral, master’s, baccalaureate, associate degrees, and one-year certificates. It offers various delivery modalities (face-to-face, online, hybrid, and other) to effectively support learners enrolled in the university’s classes and programs.

The school’s stated mission is to equip students to embrace biblical truth, embody academic and professional excellence, and pursue Spirit-filled lives of service.

The original version of this story was posted on Southern Adventist University news site.