Buying Local, Feeding Needy, Till Fordham Calls A Halt

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The project seemed tailor-made for a university brochure: Students promoting locally grown food. A soup kitchen taking in the leftovers. An aspiring lawyer, from bucolic Essex, Vt., making Manhattan feel closer to some green space.

For more than 18 months, the farm-share program at Fordham University School of Law appeared to be fulfilling its mission: Students, as well as faculty and staff members, paid about $150 per semester to buy a share of a harvest from a farm in central New York.

Yet despite its success, the group, Farm to Fordham, was officially shuttered last week — the culmination of a convoluted process that began in April, when security personnel refused to open the gate for a vegetable delivery.

Over the next few months, the group’s founder, Michael Zimmerman, a third-year law student, tried to satisfy Fordham’s requests so it could reopen, but to no avail: on Wednesday, he was forwarded an e-mail from the university’s legal counsel, indicating that it would no longer allow the initiative.

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