Over 130 Universities Participate in The Real Food Calculator

Real Food Challenge recently announced that 134 universities and colleges are now using the student-designed calculator to measure and report local, fair, ecologically-sound and humane food in campus dining.

Hampshire College to Source Nearly 100% Local Food

The recent $50,000 grant from the Henry P. Kendall Foundation will support the university's Local Food Challenge, which will draw from the campus farm, the on-campus food management company's 40 farm shares, and will work to create collaborations with food suppliers within a 150-mile radius.

Montana State U Increases Local Food Procurement

In an effort to expand the university's Montana-Made program, University Food Services has hired a full-time staff member to grow relationships with current and potential vendors, gather baseline data, and create viable goals.

U New Mexico Establishes Student Food Pantry

Attempting to help students do well in school, the university's Dean of Students Office and local food bank are teaming up to provide students with healthy food on a regular basis.

Five Universities Win $5,000 Sodexo Grant

(United States): The Sodexo Foundation's Campus Kitchen Project video competition awarded the five universities funding for a Campus Kitchen, a student-operated kitchen that recovers quality food going to waste to provide nutritious meals for those in the community that are struggling with food insecurity. The winning universities are Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville, St. Peter's University, Georgia Tech and University of Wisconsin at Green Bay.

UC Santa Cruz Procures Local Aquaponics Produce

(United States): Increasing the amount of local and sustainably-grown food, the university's Dining Halls are now serving lettuce that was grown without the use of chemical fertilizers, but instead fertilized by fish waste in a practice known as aquaponics.

Emory U Implements Meatless Mondays

In an effort to promote health and environmental benefits, the university's new initiative offers more vegan and vegetarian options.

U Michigan Attains Marine Stewardship Council Certification

The university recently achieved the MSC Chain of Custody third party certification, which supports sustainably-managed fisheries also certified by MSC standards. Five residential dining halls will offer seafood designated as MSC-certified.

Oklahoma State U Creates Healthy Food Labeling System

After receiving grant funds, the university's Dining Services program recently implemented the labeling system to indicate more healthful foods per U.S. Department of Agriculture guidelines. The system also labels more than 800 grab-and-go items with nutrition and allergen information.

Ten Universities Collaborate on Local Food Procurement

In an effort to procure more affordable locally-grown food, Yale University, Brown University, Connecticut College, Cornell University, Dartmouth College, Princeton University, Rhode Island School of Design, Tufts University, University of Massachusetts at Amherst and University of New Hampshire gathered at Yale to discuss ways to take advantage of economies of scale in local food procurement.

Maryville U Dining Hall Recognized for Green Operations

The university's Gander Dining Hall was recently recognized by Green Dining Alliance of St. Louis for incorporating sustainable restaurant management and operational norms in the areas of recycling and waste reduction, awareness and education, sourcing and procurement, water conservation, energy conservation and efficiency, chemicals, and innovation.

Lafayette College Uses On-Campus Farm Produce in Dining Halls

The university's new food service provider, Bon Appetit, is now procuring 100 percent of produce grown at the student-run campus garden. Called the food loop, students have coordinated with Dining Services for the food scraps to be collected for compost that is reapplied on the garden fields.

Connecticut College Partners for Local Food Market

After a recent class focused on world food production, a student initiates the Sustainable Food Market, a partnership with community partner, Fiddleheads Co-operative, to provide the campus community with fresh, organic and local foods every Friday.

Three Universities Sign 'Real Food Campus Challenge'

Johns Hopkins University; University of Massachusetts, Amherst; and University of Montana, Missoula pledged to buy at least 20 percent real food annually by 2020. Johns Hopkins University pledged to source 35 percent.

Asbury U Joins Kentucky Proud's 'Farm to Campus' Initiative

The university's recent decision to join the Kentucky Proud initiative will bolster its efforts to procure and serve food grown and processed within Kentucky.

Berea College to Open Local-Produce Grocery Store

The yet-to-be-opened store will offer organic fruits and vegetables, freshly prepared food, fish and humanely raised meat that are harvested, prepared and sold by Berea students as part of their jobs with the college. The goods will come from the college's on-campus farm.

U Maryland Partners for Sustainable Seafood

The university's Dining Services recently partnered with The Wide Net Project to contribute to restoration of the Chesapeake Bay's health and provide nutritious food to vulnerable communities.

Clarkson U Adds Reusable To-Go Containers

After a recent student project proposal indicated the desire for reusable to-go containers, the university's Dining Services/ARAMARK has implemented the reusable containers system to decrease waste sent to landfills.

Wesleyan U Celebrates Local Food With 100% Local Meal

In celebration of Eat Local Challenge Day, the university's Dining Services and several local vendors provided meals made entirely from local ingredients harvested within 150 miles of the university.

Emory U Increases Local Food

In support of the university's sustainability goals, new dining options at Cox Hall include procurement of locally-sourced food and support of smaller, independent businesses.

Joliet Junior College Increases Awareness of Local Food

(U.S.): Featured in a new Farm-to-Fork Market Dinner event through the college's Culinary Arts department will be a five-course meal with nearly 100 percent of the ingredients from within 250 miles.

Clarkson U Operates 100% Local Grill

In an effort to increase local food offerings, every ingredient used at the university’s Main Street Grill comes from a farm within 200 miles of the Quebec campus.

Brock U Initiates Fair Trade Purchasing

Building its inventory of fair trade products, the university now only sells Fair Trade Certified coffee at all non-franchise businesses. Three teas and one type of chocolate are also offered.

Harvard U Chef Recognized Nationally as Sustainability Pioneer

Food Tank, a non-profit think tank that explores environmentally sustainable ways of alleviating hunger, obesity and poverty, has named the university's Healthy and Sustainable Food Program Director Barton Seaver as one of 11 chefs pioneering the movement toward sustainable food.

Rollins College Earns Fair Trade Status

Thanks to a student-led effort, the college is committed to purchasing fair trade products and encouraging its vendors to provide sustainable products created under fair working conditions. The school will also incorporate fair trade principles part of its curriculum.

U Arizona Harvests Campus Seed Pods for Flour

The university's Campus Arboretum has installed nets onto the trunks of mesquite trees to harvest the seed pods, which Dining Services will incorporate into dishes served on campus. Olives and citrus fruit will also be harvested in similar projects.

U Maryland Welcomes Sustainably Minded Food Truck

Featuring ingredients from a campus garden and area farms, the university catering company's new food truck effort averages 100 orders per day.

Hawai'i Institutions Join EPA Food Recovery Challenge

Hawai‘i Pacific University, the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa and Kapiolani Community College have pledged to reduce food waste as new participants in the national program. Around 35 million tons of food waste was generated in 2010, according to the Food Recovery Challenge website, 97 percent of which was thrown away into landfills or incinerators.

Kennesaw State U Dining Earns National Innovation Award

The university has received the National Restaurant Association's Innovator of the Year award for its comprehensive waste management program and organic farm-to-campus initiative.

Hampshire College Embarks on Healthy Food Transition

(U.S.): In addition to working with its service provider to build menus around products harvested on its 15-acre campus farm, the college aims to use food to teach students, communicate values and experiment with new models of production and delivery that may help solve global resource challenges.

USA Today: Students Increasingly Searching out Local Food Sources

With a steady increase in farmers markets across the nation - 4,685 in 2008 to 7,864 in 2012 - USA Today reports a trend among college students to find out how their food is is grown, raised and processed. "My students increasingly are really thinking about the environmental consequences of the food we eat," says Laurie Thorp, program director of Michigan State University's Residential Initiative on the Study of the Environment, in the article. "They understand that climate change is real, and that agriculture contributes to that."

U Buffalo Wins National Sustainability Awards Contest

The university's Campus Dining and Shops was recently recognized in the "Outreach and Education" category of the National College and University Food Service Association’s Sustainability Awards contest. The university earned the honor for its participation in the New York State “Pride of New York” program, which promotes and supports the sale of agricultural products produced and processed within the state.

U Mass Amherst Signs 'Real Food Challenge'

Thanks to a student-led effort, the university will now assure that 20 percent of its food purchases come from socially responsible farms and food businesses.

23 Colleges Join EPA’s Food Recovery Challenge

(U.S.): Twenty-three college and universities in New England have joined a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency effort to reduce food waste. The partnership aims to reduce the 1.64 million tons of food wasted each year in the six New England states. EPA’s Food Recovery Challenge encourages organizations to reduce, donate, and recycle as much of their excess food as possible, which saves money, feeds the needy, and supports the social, economic, and environmental dimensions of sustainability.

Clark U Signs Real Food Campus Commitment

(U.S.): The college pledges to purchase at least 20 percent “real food” by 2020, which will include food that is community based, ecologically sound, humanely produced, or fairly traded.

Food Recovery Network, Bon Appétit Partner to Fight Food Waste

Bon Appétit Management Company has partnered with the Food Recovery Network (FRN), a student-operated nonprofit working on college campuses to curb food waste and end hunger. Bon Appétit and FRN will work together to recover surplus food from campus dining halls and deliver it to local shelters to combat hunger in the surrounding communities.

Loyola Marymount U Commits to Sustainable Seafood

The university has earned the Marine Stewardship Council’s Chain of Custody certification. The certificate attests that the fish stock used on campus comes from sustainable fisheries that are concerned with the marine ecosystem; and is supplied by processors and distributors through sustainable sourcing practices.

Warren Wilson College Signs Real Food Challenge Commitment

The college and Sodexo Dining Services have signed the Real Food Challenge Commitment. The agreement, augmenting previous sustainability commitments by the college, states that Warren Wilson will procure 40 percent “real food” annually by the year 2020. The College’s local foods crew is charged with monitoring the food purchasing.

Sodexo, Real Food Challenge Sign Food Transparency Agreement

Sodexo and the Real Food Challenge have announced an agreement to advance supply chain transparency on Sodexo-contracted campuses. The agreement institutes a rigorous and comprehensive set of standards, defined by the Real Food Calculator, for judging the social responsibility and sustainability of Sodexo’s vendors and food producers.

U Toronto Debuts Veggie Mondays Campaign

(Canada): Food Services has launched Veggie Mondays, a campus-wide campaign to encourage students to consume more plant-based foods at least one day of the week. The first phase of this campaign implemented a vegetarian and vegan standard which allows students and staff to easily identify vegan and vegetarian foods in campus eateries. The second phase will introduce student discounts on vegan and vegetarian meals as well as a weekly comic strip to raise awareness.

McGill U Receives Sustainable Seafood Certification

The university’s Food and Dining Services has received the Marine Stewardship Council Chain of Custody certification, becoming the first Canadian post-secondary institution to be recognized by the MSC for its commitment to serving sustainable seafood. Supported by the university’s Sustainability Projects Fund, the certification effort was kickstarted by a capstone class project and picked up by students who were able to work in partnership with Food and Dining Services to see the certification through to completion.

U Cincinnati Students Advocate for Organic Food

Student advocates for organic food have received approval to go forward with the Real Food Calculator, the first step to the Real Food Challenge. The calculator determines how healthy the food currently being served is and how much it needs to improve. The university can use the calculator without signing a commitment to the challenge, a national campaign to provide students with more sustainable food in school systems.

Harvard U Café Pilots Reusable Container Program

The Food Literacy Project and Dining Services have partnered to introduce a reusable container pilot program in Dudley Café aimed at reducing excess waste from disposable food containers and packaging. Students and regular customers at the Café may claim a token upon returning a reusable container, which can then be redeemed for discounts at the next meal. Depending on impact and engagement, the Food Literacy Project and Harvard University Dining Services hope to consider opportunities to expand the program for the new school year.

U California Santa Cruz Students and Staff go Vegan

More than 25 students and staff members associated with the Crown/Merrill Dining Hall made a sustainability commitment to go vegan as part of the 28-day Engine2Diet Plant Strong Challenge.

U California Santa Cruz Switches to Cage-Free Eggs

(U.S.): The university’s Dining Services have transitioned to serving 100 percent cage-free eggs across all dining hall and retail units.

Boston U Restaurants Certified Green

Each of the three eateries at the Center for Students Services has been named a Certified Green Restaurant by the Green Restaurant Association. Winning features included the restaurants’ use of cage-free eggs, local food sourcing, and abundance of vegetarian main dishes. The kitchens are outfitted with Energy Star appliances, water-efficient dishwashers and sink fixtures, and a food pulper that turns scraps into compost.

U Illinois Chicago to Switch to Cage-Free Eggs

The university has announced it will begin serving only cage-free eggs. This change comes after speaking with The Human League and receiving positive feedback from the campus community.

American U Food Workers to Receive Sustainable Food Training

Food service workers have ratified a contract that will provide paid training on sustainable food prep and cooking practices, and a watchdog committee for employer accountability. Unite Here Local 23 had run an eight-month “Real Food, Real Jobs” campaign targeting Bon Appétit Management Co. to bring a sustainable food system to campuses.

Harvard U Dining Services Focuses on Sustainable Seafood

Dining Services has launched a sustainable seafood program and is working to develop guidelines that can be shared with other institutions. After months of planning, students are now seeing new species such as “swai,” as well as familiar offerings from more sustainable sources, such as Prince Edward Island mussels and shrimp caught in Maine waters.

Portland State U Increases Sustainable Food Efforts

(U.S.): The university’s food service provider, Aramark, hired a sustainability intern to track local and organic food purchases with the goal of buying more local food. In addition, in an effort to reduce food packaging and waste, Aramark unveiled a “green box reusable to-go” program and a composting program on campus.