Hiya! I’m Izzie Ramirez, the Managing Editor for Spoon University. Welcome to Becoming Local: a collection of stories about what it means to maintain your hometown ties while also forging new connections in your college town’s local food scene for the first time (or the first time in a while).

From recreating familiar favorites in your dorm kitchen to discovering how to support your local farms, Becoming Local is all about our relationship with food and beyond. Food is more than simple nutrients to get you through a long day of studying, it’s how we’re connected to each other. Through memories, culture, and labor, food has the power to reveal so much about us and what we value.

After a year and a half away from campus, many college towns (and their restaurants, respectively) have been struggling to stay afloat. As you return to campus, it may not look the same way you remembered it. Or maybe it’s your first time ever stepping foot on campus. Either way, Fall 2021 will make a difference to the small business owners in your community. Becoming Local — with a goal to support the people who make food an experience — will not only have guides about how to get involved locally, but also recommendations for our favorite spots in your college town.

Becoming Local, funnily enough, is actually pretty national in scope, thanks to the summer cohort of Spoon University National Writers. On top of all the expertly curated restaurant recommendations, they’ve also written impactful reported work and thoughtful personal essays.

While Becoming Local will be running for the next two weeks, this direction of storytelling will live long after Becoming Local concludes. Much like our Gen Z audience — who are smart, curious, and experimental — Spoon is working to reflect that ethos towards food. From here on out, our stories will expand to include the intersections of everything food touches: culture, health, labor, community, and environment. It’ll be absolutely delicious.

I’m so excited for what’s next. Have tips, questions, comments? Email me at izzieramirez@hercampus.com. Happy reading!

— Izzie Ramirez, Managing Editor