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University's Dining Services strives to create more sustainable dining program


   

Students, administrators, and other contributors at the ribbon-cutting for the grand opening of the Farms and Fields Project in Owens Food Court in April 2009. Students, administrators, and other contributors at the ribbon-cutting for the grand opening of the Farms and Fields Project in Owens Food Court in April 2009.


BLACKSBURG, Va., Sept. 25, 2009 – In an effort to promote sustainable food systems, Virginia Tech's Dining Services has added a new value statement to its guiding principles.

The statement announces Dining Services’ commitment to “promote a sustainable dining and food system at Virginia Tech and therefore in the greater community,” and proposes to work toward this goal by “promoting healthy eaters, ecological stewardship, waste reduction and diversion, the local economy, social justice, and animal welfare.”

“Improving and increasing our sustainability initiatives has been a goal in Dining Services for the past year. The new guiding principle will further support these initiatives,” said Rachael Budowle, sustainability coordinator for Dining Services. “Determining how to develop a sustainable dining and food system will be a consideration in each decision we make.”

Dining Services, a department within the Division of Student Affairs, has led many new sustainability initiatives in the past year. These include introducing recycling and removing trays in the campus dining centers, beginning a composting program for food waste, sourcing local and sustainable foods in the new Farms and Fields Project shop in Owens Food Court, and planting a student-supported herb garden.

The guiding principles represent the mission and goals of Dining Services, and are shared with every dining center employee during training to promote a unified departmental standard. The complete list may be found online.