Grant, fellowship recognize food service sustainability

The Fellows with the Hobart Center for Foodservice Sustainability have announced a $5,000 grant to Bates College Dining Services for its comprehensive approach to food service sustainability, and have named Director of Dining Services Christine Schwartz as an HCFS Fellow.

Bates was judged as having the best sustainability program from among 13 entrants nationwide, which included K-12 schools and higher educational institutions, health care and hospitality facilities.

“Every year the level of participation and interest in sharing sustainable practices continues to expand,” says Rick Cartwright, vice president, ITW Food Equipment Group, and HCFS Fellow. Cartwright said that “Bates College stood out as a best-practice example showing a broad level of impact across many aspects of sustainability.”

Prompted by a generous gift from an anonymous donor, the opening of a new dining facility and the passion on the part of students to know more about the foods they were eating, Bates College undertook a yearlong initiative to explore connections between the dining program, food and the educational mission of the college itself. Nourishing Body and Mind: Bates Contemplates Food” was launched in September 2008. Overall, Bates College decreased energy consumption and water use, reduced solid waste, and implemented a Farm-to-Fork program, expanding the purchasing of local, sustainable foods. From these initiatives, Bates College realized an annual saving totaling more than $80,000.

“Bates, like many colleges, believes that the environment must be taken into consideration when purchasing, creating, delivering and serving food products. And our dining program has integrated environmental stewardship into every decision regarding dining and food services,” says Schwartz, who will help select future operations for grant recognition while serving as an HCFS Fellow. “We are committed to continuing to develop the Bates Contemplates Food initiative and are grateful for the funds from the HCFS to assist us in doing so.”

Bates is the third recipient of the annual award. The winners in previous years were the University of California, Santa Cruz and Dickinson College.

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