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Articles: Food Service

Jairy Hunter has spent the majority of his career with a few thousand students at small, private Charleston Southern University, but he rose through the ranks at a series of larger, public institutions.

After earning a master’s degree in student personnel, Hunter became assistant to the president at Blue Ridge Community College, also in North Carolina, where he began to learn the intricacies of running a campus.

Colleges and universities have turned their attention to areas on campuses that generate tremendous amounts of waste in small amounts of time: their stadiums and arenas.

The new Village Center at CU Boulder offers those students multiple dining options, study and collaboration spaces, conference amenities, and a health clinic.

Every school needs a reliable water supply—no matter the climate—yet it is often the most overlooked aspect of facilities management.

Boston University has seven certified restaurants (more than any other college or university) and the GRA has verified the institution has the greenest food court in the nation.

SAFE ZONE—Kent State higher ed students with gluten intolerance need not worry when eating at Prentice Café, since the entire facility is gluten-free.

The number of U.S. colleges offering gluten-free dining options is rising, as more people learn about the seriousness of celiac disease, says Chris Rich, vice president of development for the Gluten Intolerance Group.

Colleges and universities taking extra care to improve the safety and quality of life for students with food allergies can participate in the Food Allergy Research & Education’s College Food Allergy Program, which launched in 2014.

In 2015, FARE chose 12 colleges nationwide to participate in a pilot program, and in 2016 the organization announced the expansion of the program to 23 additional institutions.

One of the overall goals is improving access for potential students and parents to information about food allergy accommodation efforts at colleges and universities.

Students Kylie Campanelli and Chad Marvin operate a hydroponic lettuce farm that lives inside an upcycled, 40-by-8-foot shipping container at Stony Brook University in New York.

Designed by the company Freight Farms, the hydroponic lettuce farm inside a shipping container at Stony Brook University in New York uses 90 percent less water than traditional growing methods to provide an acre’s worth of leafy greens to campus dining halls.

Students use farm-management technologies such as cloud-synced growth data and a smartphone app to control lighting.

After years of working with multiple food service vendors and local restaurants, Carnegie Mellon University brought fast-casual bakery chain Au Bon Pain to campus. The school’s first experience with a national restaurant franchise, it was a 12-month process from the brainstorming phase to opening the doors to hungry students.

When a trio of students at Christopher Newport University in Virginia wanted to start a program to collect leftover food from the dining halls each night and deliver it to a rescue mission, the director of the university’s dining services had some questions.

Drumming up support for a program where food service gives back can involve highlighting a prominent, well-loved individual within campus dining.

Fond du Lac Tribal & Community College in Minnesota, for example, named a food pantry after the school’s first housing director, Bruce Carlson, who died unexpectedly in 2010.

Student-run campus organizations are partnering with food service providers to get leftover food to those who need it. (Photo: Food Recovery Network/James Souder, UMD Recovery)

More than 22 million pounds of uneaten food is thrown away on college campuses each year, according to Food Recovery Network, a student-driven nonprofit dedicated to reducing food waste and hunger at higher education institutions.

A single college student generates an average 142 pounds of food waste per year, according to Recycling Works, a Massachusetts recycling assistance program.

Say cheese: Most University of Alabama students avoid waiting in line at the Action Card office for an ID by submitting their application online. For anyone unable to access that system or who needs a replacement card, the office is ready to assist.

Regardless of the size of the staff or office, efficient campus card programs share several best practices: A focus on customer service, cutting-edge technology and collaboration with the campus community and beyond.

Behind the scenes at the University of Vermont, chefs work with dining  program administrators to deliver student-requested items in a cost-effective manner. This can involve partnering with local food providers.

Colleges and universities that provide fresh, high-quality food do more than please students—offering good food is also good business. Here are several ways dining program leaders can increase satisfaction and meal plan participation while keeping operating costs stable.

While renovating the Rotunda at the University of Virginia, workers found a “chemical hearth” hidden behind the walls.

It turned out to have been part of an early science classroom commissioned by university founder Thomas Jefferson. The room, likely sealed in the mid-1800s, survived a fire in 1895 that destroyed much of the building’s interior.

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