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Report Card 2010

Dickinson College

Dining Survey

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With the publication of the College Sustainability Report Card 2010, more than 1,100 school survey responses from over 300 institutions are now available online. In total, these surveys offer more than 10,000 pages of data collected from colleges and universities during the summer of 2009. To access surveys from other schools, go to the surveys section of the website. To see grades, or to access additional surveys submitted by this school, please click the "Back to Report Card" link at the beginning or end of the survey.

 

Name:  Keith Martin
Title:
  Director of Dining Services
Date survey submitted:
 July 24, 2009

1) Total annual food budget:
$ 3,138,825          

LOCALLY GROWN AND PRODUCED FOOD
Note: Geographic location and seasonal availability are taken into account in assessing your response. "Local" is defined as within 150 miles of your campus.
2) Do you have any formal policies pertaining to local purchases?
[ X]  No
[  ]  Yes. Please describe and provide URL, if available:

We do not have a formal policy in place, but we strive to buy locally whenever possible as part of the College’s stated and enduring commitment to sustainability and community involvement.


Questions 3-5 pertain to locally grown purchases.
3) From how many local farms or growers do you purchase (excluding on-campus farms/gardens)?
[13]  Number from which you purchase directly.
[ ]  Number from which you purchase through a distributor. Please specify name and location of distributor:

4) How much do you spend annually on purchasing food that was grown or raised locally?

Dining Services spends $ 592,703 annually on purchasing food that was grown or raised locally.


5) Please list foods you purchase that are grown or raised locally (e.g., fresh fruits, vegetables, meat, milk, fish, honey, maple syrup; foods that are processed locally should be listed in question 8): 

We purchase locally grown produce, such as peaches, apples, strawberries, nectarines, pears, mixed greens, tomatoes, zucchini, yellow squash, spinach, and cucumbers. Additionally, we purchase milk, honey, beef, and shrimp that are raised locally.


Questions 6-8 pertain to locally produced and/or processed items.
6) From how many local processors do you purchase?
[3]  Number from which you purchase directly.
[2]  Number from which you purchase through a distributor.  Please specify name and location of distributor: 

Feeser’s Food Distributors, Harrisburg, PA

John Gross Company, Mechanicsburg, PA

7) How much do you spend annually on purchasing food that was processed locally?

Dining Services spends $238,730 annually on purchasing food that was processed locally.


8) Please list items you purchase that are processed locally (e.g., bread, granola, ice cream, baked goods, yogurt, cheese):  

Items we purchase include bread, ice cream, cheese, pudding, and yogurt.

9) Do you purchase milk from a local dairy?
[  ]  No
[ x ]  Yes. Please provide name of dairy and location:

Swiss Premium, Lebanon, PA

10) Do you source any food from an on-campus farm or garden?
[  ]  No
[ x ]  Yes. Please describe source and amount:

Dickinson College Organic Farm, $ 15,171. See below.

 

In 2007, Dickinson College received a $5,000 award from the Hobart Center for Foodservice Sustainability for having the most innovative and best‐executed foodservice sustainability project of the year. The Dickinson College Organic Farm supplies the college dining hall with fresh produce raised without the use of chemicals. By purchasing vegetables from the college farm at market price, dining services is saving food and transportation costs. This year, more than $15,171 has been reinvested into the college farm instead of being paid to outside suppliers. This figure represents a 40% increase over what was spent in the previous year. The increase results from planning between Dining Services and the College Farm manager each January related to the planting of the most-consumed vegetables for the following growing season.

 

Additionally, Dining Services runs a food outlet in the Student Union building called “The Underground.”  This operation sells primarily organic and fairly traded products. For example, our pre-packaged fresh salads are a value added product from the College Farm, and we offer freshly made salsa and hummus using ingredients grown at the Farm when they are in season.

 

11) Do you participate in a farm-to-school program?
[  ]  No
[X]  Yes. Please describe program: 

 

We have a true “Farm to Fork” program. All of our plate waste is pulped and is then sent to our College Farm, where it is composted and used on the vegetable plants in order to help them grow without the use of chemical fertilizers. When they are ripe, we bring the harvested crops back to the Dining Hall and serve them to our students, completing the cycle of sustainable production.

 
ORGANIC AND SUSTAINABLY PRODUCED FOOD
12) Do you have any formal policies pertaining to the purchase of organic and/or sustainably produced food?
[ x]  No 
[  ]  Yes. Please describe and provide URL, if available:
Again, though we have no formal policy in place, we continue to practice our College commitment to buy locally grown and organic whenever possible.


13) Do you purchase organically grown or produced food?
[  ]  No
[ x]  Yes. Please list items:

Items include: greens, tomatoes, coffee, bananas, cucumbers, zucchini, yellow squash, spinach, apples, pears, etc.

14) How much do you spend annually on organically grown or produced food?

Dining Services spends $23,596 annually on organically grown or produced food.

For questions 15-19, please indicate percentage based on annual dollar amount spent.
15) Do you purchase cage-free eggs and/or confinement-free meat products?
[X]  No
[  ]  Yes. Please indicate (repeat for each product).
[   %]  Percentage cage-free eggs
[   %]  Percentage confinement-free. Type of meat product:
[   %]  Percentage confinement-free. Type of meat product:

16) Do you purchase any grass-fed animal products?
[  ]  No
[X]  Yes. Please indicate (repeat for each product). We have held Dining Hall special dinners in order to introduce our students to ethical eating concepts.  At one of these dinners, we provided grass-fed burgers made from beef raised locally.
[   %]  Grass-fed. Type of animal product:
[   %]  Grass-fed. Type of animal product:

17) Do you purchase hormone- and antibiotic-free meat?
[ X]  No
[  ]  Yes. Please indicate (repeat for each product).
[   %]  Percentage hormone- and antibiotic-free. Type of meat:
[   %]  Percentage hormone- and antibiotic-free. Type of meat:

18) Do you purchase hormone- and antibiotic-free dairy products?
[  ]  No
[ X ]  Yes. Please indicate (repeat for each product).
[ 100  %]  Percentage hormone- and antibiotic-free. Type of dairy product: 2% Milk, whole milk, skim milk, chocolate milk, ½ and ½ , and heavy cream (i.e. all of our dairy items).

19) Do you purchase seafood that meets Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch guidelines or Marine Stewardship Council standards?
[  ]  No
[X]  Yes. Please indicate.
[ 100 %]  Percentage purchased that meets guidelines. Please list guidelines used: farm-raised Marvista Shrimp, wild salmon

20) Do you offer specifically labeled vegan entrees on a daily, weekly, or other regularly scheduled basis?
[  ]  No
[ x ]  Yes. Please specify number of options and the frequency with which they are offered: There are vegan options at lunch and dinner daily.  In addition to a new entree at each meal, we feature a homemade vegan soup daily.

The College offers a vegan choice at lunch and dinner meals daily. We also have a gluten-free refrigerator for students who must have a gluten-free diet. Our bakers make fresh daily desserts in both vegan and gluten-free varieties.

 

21) Please list and give percentages for any other sustainably produced food items you purchase that are not included above: 

FAIR TRADE PRODUCTS
22) Do you purchase Fair Trade Certified coffee?
[  ]  No
[  ]  Some. Please describe:
[ x ]  All

Exclusively fair-trade, organic, shade grown coffee is offered in the dining halls and in the on-campus coffee bar.  Our coffee is roasted locally and available for sale to our campus community.

 

23)  Do you purchase other Fair Trade Certified food products?
[  ]  No
[x]  Yes. Please indicate (repeat for each product).
[   %]  Percentage purchased that is Fair Trade Certified. Type of item:

Dining Services runs a food outlet in the Student Union building called “The Underground.”  This operation sells primarily organic and fairly traded products and serves fair-trade tea and coffee drinks.  The food outlet also sells baked goods, cocoa mixes, and bottled juices that have earned fair-trade certification.


DISHWARE AND ECO-FRIENDLY INCENTIVES
24) Please indicate which of following your university-operated/contracted dining facilities offers.
[  ]  Disposable dishware
[  ]  Only reusable dishware
[ x ]  Reusable and disposable dishware

25) If you offer disposables, please indicate materials used (check all that apply).
[  ]  Plastic or polystyrene
[ x]  Postconsumer recycled content
[ x ]  Biodegradable/compostable
[  ]  Other
Description (optional):

Dining Services has been using corn-based cups for over a year, as well as Second Nature napkins and biodegradable paper plates and to-go containers. All to-go utensils are biodegradable. We have eliminated individually wrapped crackers from our operation, which not only cuts down on wasted money and time, but also on plastic wastes produced in the preparation process. All of the above products, along with all biodegradable kitchen waste and plate waste, are run through the College’s pulper prior to use.  Processed pulp is sent to the College farm to be composted.  Furthermore, during the past year we have eliminated most bottled drinks from all of our cash operations. We have moved our individual bottled water to biodegradable bottles. We hope that this move helps to continue to lower the amount of waste generated and increase the amount of compostable, reusable materials available for use by students and staff.


26) Do your dining facilities offer discounts or cash incentives to individuals using reusable dishware, bringing a bag, or bringing reusable containers?
[  ]  No
[ x ]  Yes. Please describe: All incoming first-year students, full-time employees and resident advisors received reusable water bottles. Dining services offers a discount on fountain beverages when these bottles are used.

In addition to the reusable water bottles, the College provides reusable cloth bags for student use in the “grab-and-go” food service section.

 

27) Do your dining facilities use any polystyrene products (i.e., Styrofoam)?
[ x ]  No
[  ]  Yes. Please describe:

During the past year, we have eliminated most bottled drinks from all of our cash operations. We have moved our individual bottled water to biodegradable bottles. The College eliminated all Styrofoam containers many years ago.


FOOD COMPOSTING AND WASTE DIVERSION
28) Do your dining facilities compost preconsumer food scraps?
[  ]  No
[ x ]  Yes. Please indicate the proportion of dining facilities that run preconsumer compost programs (e.g. two out of five dining facilities) and, if available, the combined annual tonnage composted.
[ 100 %]  Proportion of dining facilities that run preconsumer compost programs.
[      ]  Annual tonnage of preconsumer compost.

29) Do your dining facilities compost postconsumer food scraps?
[  ]  No
[ x ]  Yes. Please indicate the proportion of dining facilities that run postconsumer compost programs (e.g. two out of five dining facilities) and, if available, the combined annual tonnage composted.
[ 100 %]  Proportion of dining facilities that run postconsumer compost programs.
[   96 ]  Annual tonnage of postconsumer compost

Dickinson now pulps all biodegradable food waste, allowing the College to eliminate an entire dumpster per day in waste.  As a result of this process, 600-800 lbs. per day of pulped waste is sent to the College farm to be composted and used in the cultivating of vegetables that are sent back to the Dining Hall for student consumption.  In this way, the College has completed the circle in our “farm to fork” program.

Additionally, we have eliminated all garbage disposals from our operation. All fryer oil is now being used in the College’s Biodiesel Program, which processes the oil and uses alternative energy to fuel the farming equipment and other vehicles on campus. The Biodiesel Program also makes soap from the used oil, eliminating any waste byproducts from the fuel production process.


30) Do your dining facilities donate excess food to a food bank, soup kitchen, or shelter, etc.?
[  ]  No.
[X]  Yes.

Although Dining Services uses menu planning and statistical analysis to eliminate waste from excess food, all leftovers that are produced are served at the next meal. When we shut down during the winter and summer holidays, we donate all of our perishable foods to Project S.H.A.R.E., a local food bank.

31) Do your dining facilities have a trayless dining program?
[  ]  No
[  ]  Sometimes--on specific days, on certain occasions, or in specific locations. Please describe:
[x]  Yes--standard practice. Please describe program including date started and, if available, data on reduced food waste or water consumption:

Dining Services recently instituted the trayless program at the beginning of this summer to work out all the details in small batches prior to the students’ return in August. We expect to have much more accurate information on savings by the end of the fall 2009 semester. We have been recording all of our waste products for over a year in order to have comparison data readily available, and we expect the program to greatly reduce food waste.

32) Please tell us about any other steps your dining facilities have taken to reduce waste (e.g., food waste auditing, recycling used cooking oil for biodiesel production):
Used oil is recycled to biodiesel and used on the campus organic farm and in other campus vehicles.

 

Dickinson promotes sustainability by asking all its suppliers and manufacturers to look at ways to repackage their products in a more sustainable manner. Last year we were looking for the new individual spring water bottles made out of corn based material and are now using them in all of our cash operations and catering.

We have expanded into individual juice bottles made from the same corn based material and have eliminated the plastic bottles.

 

All fryer oil is now being used in the College’s Biodiesel Program, which processes the oil and uses alternative energy to fuel the farming equipment and other vehicles on campus (garbage trucks, lawn mowers, and the President’s car). The Biodiesel Program also makes soap from the used oil, eliminating any waste byproducts from the fuel production process.

 

In order to conserve electrical energy, we turn all of our Dining Hall lights out between meals.

 

This coming year, we are adding two new beverage stations, including one at the rear of the dining hall to make the changeover to the trayless system easier on our students. We are adding a fountain beverage service in our “grab-and-go” section, thus eliminating all disposable bottled drinks.

 

The Dining Services staffers work closely with student organizations (see below).  For example, the cafeteria hosted several “sustainable dining” themed dinners last year, including a grass-fed beef night and a meatless meals night, in order to promote ethical eating practices, raise awareness of current offerings and educate the College community, and encourage students to make sustainable dining choices on a regular basis.


RECYCLING OF TRADITIONAL MATERIALS
33) Please indicate which traditional materials your dining facilities recycle (check all that apply).

[  ]  None
[ x ]  Aluminum
[ x ]  Cardboard
[ x ]  Glass
[ x ]  Paper
[  ]  Plastics (all)
[ x ]  Plastics (some) #1, #2
[  ]  Other. Please list:

34) Are recycling receptacles located throughout dining locations?
[  ]  No
[x]  Yes. Please describe:

Recycling and composting receptacles are located throughout all dining locations at the College. Promotional materials, in the form of informative posters and colorful, attention-grabbing signs, direct students to the receptacles and encourage their use. In order to leave the cafeteria, students must past by the composting buckets, where they are directed to place all food wastes before returning their plates and silverware for cleaning.


35) What is the dining services' current waste-diversion rate (the percentage of recyclable waste diverted from traditional disposal)?
[  100 %]

AFFILIATIONS
Questions 36-37 are for informational purposes only; responses will NOT be included in the Report Card evaluation process.
36) Indicate if your dining services are:
[  ]  Contracted. Please describe:
[X]  School operated. Please describe:  The Dining Services is a proudly self-operated department of Dickinson College. In addition to the main cafeteria, we operate a coffee bar, organic foods kiosk, café, and snack bar.  We also do internal and external catering jobs.
[  ]  Other. Please describe:

37) Is the dining services director, or another dining services staff person, a member of any campus-wide environmental/sustainability initiatives or committees at your school?
[  ]  No
[x]  Yes. Please describe:

Both the Director and Assistant Director attend meetings of campus-wide sustainability committees, such as the Sustainable Foods subcommittee SAVES (a student-run environmental advocacy organization). The staff of Dining Services at the College view food sustainability as a team effort.  Members of Dining Services work closely with students and faculty to review suggestions, facilitate necessary changes, and implement new technology and products as they are developed.

 

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