Food & Dining

Introduction

Modern industrial food production often has deleterious environmental and social impacts. Institutions can use their food purchases to support their local economies; encourage safe, environmentally friendly and humane farming methods; and help eliminate unsafe working conditions and alleviate poverty for farmers. These actions help reduce environmental impacts, preserve regional farmland, improve local food security, and support fair and resilient food systems. Dining services can also support sustainable food systems by preventing food waste and diverting food materials from the waste stream, by making low impact dining options available, and by educating its customers about more sustainable options and practices.

Featured Resources

1209 resources

Students as co-researchers: Using participatory action research to address college food insecurity

  • University of San Francisco (CA)

Studies indicate that college students experience high rates of food insecurity. Growing awareness of food insecurity on college campuses has resulted in efforts by many institutions to address the prob ...

  • Posted June 15, 2023
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From food access to food sovereignty: Striving to meet university student needs

  • Western Washington University (WA)

The ongoing neoliberalization of higher education has meant that college and university students at state institutions face declining state support for their education, increasing debt, precarious post-graduation job opportunities, and ...

  • Posted June 15, 2023
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An analysis of students’ attitudes and behaviors toward on-campus sustainable dining initiatives

  • University of North Carolina, Wilmington (NC)

Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to examine students’ attitudes toward sustainable dining. It aims to identify the level of importance that students place on specific on-campus sustainable dining ...

  • Posted June 15, 2023
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Student Led Governance of a Campus Community Permaculture Garden at a Liberal Arts University

  • St. Lawrence University (NY)

This case-study supports the implementation and social investment in university campus community gardens as an interdisciplinary resource for academic research, extra-curricular activities, and community building. Using a permaculture design model ...

  • Posted June 15, 2023
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Higher Education and Food Access: A Case Study of Food Access Initiatives and Their Community Impact

  • Central Washington University (WA)

Food security issues are being prioritized across college campuses and among student communities in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. While basic needs services are typically available on campuses, there ...

  • Posted June 15, 2023
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Towards Sustainable Dietary Change: An Exploration of Norwegian University Student's Attitudes toward Meat Reduction

  • University of Agder

The current food system is associated with various environmental implications. The meat the industry has been recognized as a substantial contributor to these environmental implications and places enormous strain on ...

  • Posted June 15, 2023
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Incentives and penalties tied to sales volume in contracts between beverage companies and public universities in the United States

  • Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (MD)
  • Center for Science in the Public Interest (DC)

To assess whether and how beverage companies incentivize universities to maximize sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) sales through pouring rights contracts. Cross-sectional study of contracts between beverage companies and public U.S ...

  • Posted June 15, 2023
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FRESH to Table: A Homegrown Dining Initiative

  • Boston College (MA)

Boston College (BC) seeks to foster the ethical and personal formation of its students to prepare them for citizenship, service, and leadership in a global society. In addition, as a ...


The Community Action Center Project: Where Food Shelves Meet Carbon Offsets

  • Carleton College (MN)

In the city of Northfield, MN, uneaten food typically ends up as waste in the landfill. As this food decomposes, it releases methane—a greenhouse gas far more potent than ...


"Food Waste Prevention Week"

  • University of California, Merced (CA)

The University of California, Merced's (UC Merced) Sustainable Food Programs is focused on and committed to surplus food recovery, food waste awareness and prevention, food security and more. UC ...


Food Waste to Energy: From Pilot Scale Biogas to Grid Tied CHP on a Campus Farm

  • Dickinson College (PA)

The Dickinson College Farm is culminating a multi-year project to convert campus food waste to sustainable energy through a grid-connected biogas system. Biogas is a carbon neutral, renewable alternative to ...


USC’s Single-use Plastics Elimination – Beverage Bottles Policy

  • University of Southern California (CA)

The University of Southern California (USC) established the Single-use Plastics Elimination – Beverage Bottles Policy in July 2022, prohibiting the purchase or use of single-use plastic beverage products across the university ...


Earth Fest

  • University of Wisconsin-River Falls (WI)

Earth Fest, a free and inclusive community celebration of the past, present, and future sustainability efforts in River Falls and the surrounding area. This family friendly event was held for ...


Waste Management Education and Procedural Improvements at a Residential Dining Facility

  • Wake Forest University (NC)
  • Harvest Table Culinary Group (PA)

Sustainability features are only as effective as their operators. While the second largest dining facility at Wake Forest hosts several sustainability features, the compost program was lacking in strength due ...


Campus foodscapes as sites of transformation: mapping policy and projects in US universities envisioning just, sustainable and healthy food systems

  • University of California, Berkeley (CA)
  • University of Melbourne (Victoria)

Globally universities have expanded their mission beyond teaching and research: recognising their broader responsibilities to their students, communities and civic neighbours, and to sustainable operations and infrastructure. This research considers ...


Choose to Reuse

  • Boston University (MA)
  • ARAMARK at Boston University

Boston University’s Choose to Reuse program, offered at seven retail dining concepts in the George Sherman Union, provides students staff, and faculty the choice between ordering their meal on ...


Cooking with Purpose – Empowering Food-insecure College Students to “Take Back Cooking” for Climate Mitigation, Nutrition and Budget Benefits!

  • Appalachian State University (NC)
  • AASHE (PA)

Food pantries on college campuses have a wide variety of food choices with a wide variety of cost, nutritional, and greenhouse gas impacts. In an effort to encourage food-insecure students ...

  • Posted May 18, 2023
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Achieving zero-waste targets: residential & retail takeout dining

  • USEFULL (MA)

This is a conversation to discuss the challenges and opportunities with takeout food packaging on campus.

  • Posted May 17, 2023
  • Conference Presentations
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Campus-Community Partnerships: Building Food Sovereignty and Fostering Collaboration

  • Lafayette College (PA)

This session will explore how Lafayette College has succeeded and failed at building campus-community partnerships to address food sovereignty with an opportunity for participants to explore their own campus-community engagement ...

  • Posted May 17, 2023
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An Educational Program on Organic Waste Composting and Compost End Use at Kean University

  • Kean University (NJ)

An institutional-wide educational and behavior change campaign was initiated in 2021 at Kean University (KU) to promote organic waste recycling and composting on campus. The program focused on three areas ...

  • Posted May 17, 2023
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Building Social Sustainability in Food Procurement

  • University of California, Los Angeles (CA)
  • University of California, Berkeley (CA)

Nearly two and half years since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, academic institutions continue to grapple with disrupted supply chains and their embedded inequities, which further exacerbated the challenging ...

  • Posted May 17, 2023
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Engaging Students and Curricula to Create a More Sustainable and Equitable University Food System

  • Naropa University (CO)

Join us for a step-by-step explanation of a curriculum-based, community development approach to creating a more sovereign, secure and sustainable food system at Naropa University. Discover how staff and faculty ...

  • Posted May 17, 2023
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Interdisciplinary Learning Community: Sustainability and Agriculture

  • County College of Morris (NJ)

An interdisciplinary approach to environmental topics, such as climate change and sustainability, helps to bridge the gap between identifying an environmental concern and implementing a societal resolution. This presentation aims ...

  • Posted May 17, 2023
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High Impact Practices at Bridgewater State University’s Permaculture Garden and Local Farms

  • Bridgewater State University (MA)

In this presentation, faculty from the Bridgewater State University Sustainability Program share their experiences of using the permaculture garden as a tool for their teaching, research, and scholarship. The goal ...

  • Posted May 17, 2023
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Lightning Talks: Campus Operations (Group 4)

  • Rochester Institute of Technology (NY)
  • State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry (NY)
  • Farm to Institution New England (VT)

This session consists of 3 15-minute Lightning Talk sessions related to campus operations. The Lightning Talks are: Innovations in Sustainable Procurement: A Campus Green Purchasing Guide - This session introduces a ...

  • Posted May 17, 2023
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Pigface Pancakes – Towards an Edible Campus at University of Tasmania

  • University of Tasmania (TAS)

The University of Tasmania has for many years promoted community gardening and the growing of native food plants on its campuses throughout the Australian island state of Tasmania. A recent ...

  • Posted May 17, 2023
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Playbooks for Progress: High-Impact Strategies for Climate-Smart Dining

  • Stanford University (CA)

In this session, you’ll gain actionable solutions for advancing plant-forward menus through food choice architecture and preventing food waste—the top two food-related climate solutions at our disposal as ...

  • Posted May 17, 2023
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Fair Trade and Climate Justice: How People and Planet Benefit From Fair Trade

  • Fair Trade Colleges & Universities

Fair Trade Campaigns is a powerful grassroots movement mobilizing thousands of conscious consumers and fair trade advocates on campuses and in communities across the U.S. Our Fair Trade Colleges ...

  • Posted May 17, 2023
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Essential Food Workers and University Purchasing Power

  • Georgetown University (DC)
  • University of California, Los Angeles (CA)
  • University of California, Berkeley (CA)

Food workers are essential, yet they endure wage theft, harassment, trafficking, discrimination, and hazardous working conditions. As institutional purchasers, universities have the purchasing power to improve labor conditions within their ...

  • Posted May 17, 2023
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Composting: Community Based Solutions to Food Waste & Climate Challenges

  • University of Arizona (AZ)

Food loss and food waste are global challenges; an estimated 40% of food in the U.S. is wasted. Food waste is directly related to food insecurity, poverty, and the ...

  • Posted May 17, 2023
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Greek Sustainability: Leveraging Change, Empowering Leaders

  • University of Colorado Boulder (CO)

Students have been organizing chapter houses to host a "Green Chair" or also popularly known as "Green Greek Reps". We will share our resources, strategy, and recent academic year's ...

  • Posted May 17, 2023
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Augsburg University’s Local Food Initiative: Student-Designed, Locally-Sourced

  • Augsburg University (MN)

In 2020, Augsburg University’s Sabo Center for Democracy and Citizenship launched Augsburg Local, a campaign to leverage Augsburg University’s purchasing power to support local businesses. Purchasing at Augsburg ...

  • Posted May 17, 2023
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The Working Farms Fund: Partnership to Build a Sustainable Local Food System and Support a Diverse New Generation of Farmers

  • Emory University (GA)
  • The Conservation Fund (GA)

Emory University has partnering with the national non-profit The Conservation Fund (TCF) to support a diverse new generation of farmers in rural Georgia and help build the local food supply ...


Tiffany Jurge plans Soup and Substance collaboration with SCITC

  • Central Michigan University (MI)
  • Saginaw Chippewa Tribal College (MI)

Central Michigan University (CMU) presents Soup and Substance events through the Office for Institutional Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (OIDEI) for students, faculty, staff and community members. Soup and Substance events ...


Soup and Substance: Anishinaabek Food Sovereignty

  • Central Michigan University (MI)
  • Saginaw Chippewa Tribal College (MI)

Central Michigan University (CMU) presents Soup and Substance events through the Office for Institutional Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (OIDEI) for students, faculty, staff and community members. Soup and Substance events ...


Meghan VanDamme leads composting initiative at CMU

  • Central Michigan University (MI)

Meghan VanDamme and Central Sustainability collaborated with Facilities Management and CMU Residence Life to erect a compost drop-off at Northwest Apartments. The drop-off promotes sustainability by offering an opportunity for ...


Diverting Food Waste and Educating the Campus Community with Solar Powered Compost Kiosks at Illinois State University

  • Illinois State University (IL)

The Illinois State University Compost Kiosks provide a model for other institutions in diverting food waste and reducing single-use plastic while educating and engaging the campus community in the act ...


Colaboration with Community garden in San Juan District

  • EARTH University

With the support of a resident of the San Juan District in the Union of Cartago, Costa Rica. We have come together to develop a community garden. With the contribution ...

  • Posted April 24, 2023
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Waste Diversion at Creighton Softball Game

  • Creighton University (NE)

Hattie Ames and Gabby Otero are helping Creighton fans divert their waste from the landfill.

  • Posted April 21, 2023
  • Photographs
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Fullerton Arboretum Fights Food Insecurity While Helping the Environment

  • California State University, Fullerton (CA)

Fullerton Arboretum, a 26-acre botanical garden located at Cal State Fullerton, is making a difference in the campus and environment…and it all starts with fruit.

The Arboretum grows an ...

  • Posted April 13, 2023
  • Photographs
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Food Sustainability and Security

  • University of South Florida (Tampa) (FL)
  • University of South Florida (FL)

Concerns about population growth, human health, and environmental quality have made food sustainability and security a top priority worldwide. The goal of this program is to provide students with a ...

  • Posted Feb. 23, 2023
  • Academic Programs
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Directory of Programs that Save Leftover Food After Events

  • University of California, Merced (CA)

There has been increasing interest in programs which address leftover food at events. As the coordinator of one such program, No Food Left Behind, I receive regular inquiries from other ...


Imagining the Future of Campus Food Service and Measuring Success

  • Arizona State University (AZ)
  • Texas Woman's University (TX)
  • AASHE (PA)

Food does not loom large enough in university sustainability metrics given its outsized role in achieving the SDGs. With increasing recognition that transforming food systems is critical for climate resiliency ...

  • Posted Feb. 2, 2023
  • Videos & Webinars
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UMass Dining Carbon Rating System

  • University of Massachusetts Amherst (MA)

Announced on Earth Day, 2022, and in partnership with My Emissions, UMass Dining, the nation's award winnning and largest higher education internally operated dining program, has launched an A-E ...

  • Posted Jan. 10, 2023
  • Case Studies
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Food Justice Fellowships - Rooted in Community

  • Saint Mary's College of California (CA)

Food insecurity is defined as the state of being without reliable access to sufficient affordable and nutritious food. Food insecurity in the San Francisco Bay Area (and our state, country ...

  • Posted Sept. 20, 2022
  • Case Studies
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UMass Lowell Rooftop Urban Agriculture

  • University of Massachusetts Lowell (MA)

Rooftop Urban Agriculture - The Office of Sustainability at University of Massachusetts Lowell has developed an innovative urban agriculture program in partnership with Mill City Grows, a local food justice non-profit ...


USC recognized as a top performer in sustainable food and dining

  • University of Southern California (CA)

USC is among the Top Performers under the Food & Dining impact area in the 2022 Sustainable Campus Index.


UMN Morris works with partners to launch county-wide composting program

  • University of Minnesota, Morris (MN)

UMN Morris helped launch the new countywide composing program. UMN Morris hit a milestone of diverting 1 million pounds of organic material from the landfill with its onsite cold-weather system ...


Teaching Kitchen Photo

  • Stanford University (CA)

Stanford students learn how to create delicious, nutritious, and environmentally conscious dishes in the R&DE Teaching Kitchen at Stanford. The teaching kitchen provides cooking classes to students, staff, and faculty ...


NSO Stanford Dining Students

  • Stanford University (CA)

Students enjoy fresh fruit and fresh air at New Student Orientation

This tab provides access to data collected through AASHE’s Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System™ (STARS). STARS is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance. STARS enables meaningful comparisons over time and across institutions using a common set of measurements developed with broad participation from the campus sustainability community.

All responses reference content from reports under the latest version of STARS, version 2.2. AASHE membership and log-in is required.

OP 7: Food and Beverage Purchasing

OP 8: Sustainable Dining

Additional analysis on scores and quantitative fields can be conducted using the STARS Benchmarking Tool.

Food & Dining Partners