VegFest returns to USC after a year online

The vegan and vegetarian food festival, hosted by the Environmental Student Assembly and USG, starts at 6 p.m. on Thursday.

USC’s Environmental Student Assembly will host its annual VegFest Thursday at the McCarthy Quad from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

After a year online due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the festival will continue in person this year and will offer free vegan and vegetarian food from multiple food trucks as well as carnival games and sustainability booths.

Booths at the fair will feature member organizations including Clover, USC’s vegan organization that focuses on veganism, environmentalism and sustainability, and SC Outfitters, an organization that helps students explore inside and outside of Los Angeles. SC Outfitters will host games and give away sustainability-themed items. According to ESA President Kathleen Verendia, the Office of Sustainability will also be in attendance to talk with students about what they do as an organization.

Beginning in 2017, VegFest has provided vegans and vegetarians with a variety of food selections, which can often be difficult to find on campus. Students can use their USC ID cards to participate in the event.

Molly MacCormick, a communications major, says that “[i]t’s tough to find vegan options at a lot of places on campus, so I think Vegfest is a really great addition to on-campus events.”

There will be four food truck venues available at VegFest, including Compton Vegan, Richeeze, The Tropic Truck and an Italian ice truck. Compton Vegan provides vegan alternatives for foods like mac and cheese, chicken and ribs among other favorites. Richeeze is a vegetarian option that serves grilled cheese and cheese favorites. The Tropic Truck offers a Caribbean and Latin take on sustainable food.

Verendia said the goal of this event is to get students thinking about veganism and its benefits.

“Ideally [we want students to have] a more positive outlook on veganism,” Verendia said. “I think that there’s a lot of negative perceptions towards it, I feel like the media is very much centered around a trendy veganism where it’s seen as, like, expensive and inaccessible and that’s something that we want to kind of break down the barriers for.”