5. Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA
Students Living on Campus: 14,365
Dining Heads: Lisa Wandel, administrative fellow, director residential dining; James Richard, interim director of residential dining; David Gingher, director of retail operations
Total Enrollment: 46,615
No. of Meal Plans Sold: 14,313
Annual Dining Program Revenues: $64.3 million
Cost Range of Residential Meal Plans: $2,005-$2,530/semester
No. of Residential Dining Halls/Commons: 5
No. of Retail Outlets: 18
Phone: (814) 863-1255
PSU has been placing special emphasis on ethnic cuisine, healthier choices and national brands such as four new Au Bon Pain locations in 2013. Among notable recent sustainability initiatives are eco-friendly, re-usable Green2Go containers for the carry-out meal program and the growth of composting/recycling, which now diverts 60% of pre- and post-consumer food waste to PSU’s own compost facility.
The recently introduced RHEAL (Resident’s Healthy Eating and Living) program uses a carrot symbol to designate healthier choices based on caloric, fat, and sodium content and a new full-time RD works with students who have dietary/food allergy issues.
The recently renovated HUB food court features expanded dining options including two new national brands, McAlister’s Deli and Jamba Juice. Also renovated recently was Café Laura, a collaborative effort with the School of Health and Human Development to use as practicum kitchen and dining operation.
Pollock Commons, one of five residential dining centers on campus, was renovated in 2011 at a cost of $14 million and has won numerous awards for design and is LEED certified. Students were involved in every aspect from seating selections to menu.