University of Maryland Dining Services has established a Sustainable Food Working Group consisting of students, faculty and staff that will act as advisors to find innovative, cost-effective ways to reach the department’s goal of 20% local and sustainable food purchases by 2020.
“Dining Services is committed to leading the campus’ strategic initiative and becoming a showplace for environmental stewardship by serving sustainable and healthy food.” says Dining Services Director Colleen Wright-Riva.
Working with campus stakeholders, Dining Services is launching a Farm-to-School Series. Planned activities include featuring local produce and offering seasonal special dinners in dining halls, sponsoring workshops, on-campus visits with local farmers and off-campus tours of local farms. In addition, Dining Services will continue its participation in four on-campus vegetable gardens and the Farmers Market at Maryland.
“Dining Services’ goals for sustainable food are well aligned with the University’s strategic plan and the President’s Climate Commitment," says UMD President Wallace Loh. "The Sustainable Food Working Group is a wonderful example of innovative cross-campus collaboration.”
This commitment is the latest venture by UMD Dining Services to focus on sustainability issues. Its Green Dining initiative originated with DS Facilities Maintenance several years ago, piloting recycle and compost programs in campus dish rooms and building gardens on the roofs of campus dining halls. Green Dining has expanded to a department-wide effort with a full-time Sustainability and Wellness Coordinator.
“The Sustainable Food Working Group is a great idea!" says Linda Clement, vice president for student affairs. "I am delighted to see Dining Services using the energy and commitment of Maryland students to effect changes that will bring more local, fair, humane and healthful food to campus.”
"I am excited about the potential I see in Dining Services and the University of Maryland,” says UMD Dining Sustainability and Wellness Coordinator Allison Lilly. "We are encouraging the campus to eat mindfully. Together we can impact today’s environment and focus students to affect the environment for years to come. Any interested students, faculty and staff are encouraged to join the effort.”
To see the complete UMD Dining Services Sustainable Food Commitment, go to dining.umd.edu/greendining.