EDMOND, Oklahoma - A group of students gathered in Edmond Friday to Rally for Real Food on college campuses. They came from schools around Oklahoma, and they hope gain access to healthier options. 

The rally is part of a national movements of students who want their universities to source at least 25% of their food from local farmers. Their numbers were small, but their voices were loud as the co-eds marched through UCO's dining areas demanding change.

One organizer says, “We want real food, food that’s community-based, food that’s ecologically sound and humane.

Oklahoma's universities currently rely largely on partnerships with corporate providers, instead of utilizing the food that is being grown across the state.

Some of the students know better than others the impact of a lack of an affordable fresh meal.

“I’ve had to choose between paying my electric bill and buying groceries,” admits an OU student. “This is a reality for all of us, and being in a state where we have so much agriculture, there is absolutely no excuse for us to be having food deserts in Oklahoma City, one of the most densely populated areas in Oklahoma.”

They also point out how these large food corporations help to perpetuate racial inequality throughout the community.

OU student Miles Franciso recounted his experiences growing up in Northeast Oklahoma City, telling the crowd, “The white folk got a Whole Foods and all the Black people got were McDonald’s and Taco Bell. This was by no means an accident.”

This group's goal is to get administrators on board with their cause, but so far, they feel their cries have fallen on deaf ears. They hope through this rally, though, they will be stronger together. The students met again on Friday night for a real food dinner to discuss the next steps and how to get their universities to take action.

To learn more about the Real Meals campaign, click here.