Highlights and results include:
- In 2012, UVM became the fifth signatory school to the Real Food Challenge, supported by student leaders and faculty in the Food Systems spire.
- UVM met its initial goal of 20% Real Food—ingredients certified local, organic, humanely raised, and/or fair trade—in 2017, three years ahead of target. A revised goal of 25% was met in 2019. In 2020, UVM scored the highest STARS points for sustainable dining among public institutions.
- UVM Dining has a partnership with UVM’s Catamount Educational Farm to purchase wholesale produce, grown by the student farmers in the Farmer Training Program, for use in our dining units. Each year, we meet with Catamount Farm staff to develop a crop plan based on our expected needs the following season. Our continued support helps enable the growth of this academic program and strengthens our local food system.
- Through a partnership with UVM C.R.E.A.M. (a student run dairy herd), Wilcox Dairy, Black River Produce, St. Albans Coop and Agrimark, UVM Dining is excited to start offering a signature ice cream on campus, made by Wilcox Dairy with milk from UVM's own dairy cows.
- UVM Dining is verified by the Food Recovery Network as a location that sends surplus food to people, not landfills by working to divert as much excess edible food to the Chittenden Emergency Food Shelf as possible. In the first year of our program we donated approximately 15,000 lbs of food.
EcoWare adds convenience, reduces waste.
UVM Dining developed the EcoWare program in 2011, allowing students to carry food out of the dining halls while minimizing single-use containers. In fall 2020 the system was expanded to be used on the "Bite Universities," food ordering app. Mobile orders are automatically packed in a reusable container which can be returned to any dining outlet afterwards. This program keeps thousands of disposable containers out of the waste stream each year!