When it comes to the hottest trends in college and university food service in the last few years, food trucks have to rank up there near the top. On-Campus Hospitality surveyed several schools as to why food trucks were launched on campus and what niche they filled. Whether they are used to satisfy students' late-night cravings, or to provide food service to underserved areas of campus, more and more schools are driving their way to culinary success. ...
LA LOLA LOCA — University of Alabama (Aramark),
KNIGHT WAGON — Rutgers University, New Brunswick, N.J.
STAR GINGER MOBILE FOOD TRUCK — University of California, Davis (Sodexo),
THE CULINARY CAB — Mercyhurst University, Erie, Pa.
BABYBERK — University of Massachusetts Amherst, Amherst, Mass.
One day, Mark LoParco, director of Dining Services at the University of Montana in Missoula, was looking out the window of his office in the main dining hall and noticed a big empty space that was not being used.
“It was just a big concrete slab where students would go down and skateboard or hang out,” said Ian Finch, Farm to College coordinator with University Dining Services (UDS). “It really wasn't used. He thought how great it would be to make a productive use of that space.”
From that initial thought came a campus garden that is not only a production space, but also doubles as an educational area. Dining Services worked with the Farm to College program to build the space. “Incorporating local foods has been the culture here on campus for the last 10 years,” he said. “This was a logical and reasonable extension of that. We'd be bringing food production closer to home where students really see how it's done. It is an extension of that philosophy.” ...
Dining Services at the University of Maryland in College Park has teamed with students, faculty and staff to create its Sustainable Food Working Group to help meet its sustainability goals.
“Our Sustainable Food Working Group was formed last spring,” said Allison Lilly, sustainability and wellness coordinator with Dining Services. “The group consists of faculty, staff and student representatives. Together, over the past year, they have participated in discussions, gotten programs started and come up with ideas around what sustainable food is on this campus — what the good examples are of what we want to look at from other campuses and other industries and what some of the key issues are that we want to tackle.”
What came out of the group's meetings are a Sustainable Action Plan and a Sustainable Food Commitment. “Our overarching sustainable commitment itself is to reach 20 percent sustainable food by 2020,” she said. “That will be marked by 1-4 percent annual increases in sustainable foods. We looked all over the place to help frame and define what sustainable food means. We are looking at not just ecologically sound practices, but also local purchasing and fair and humane practices as well.” ...