students planting sharples' garden

Students plant and maintain the garden behind Sharples, which regularly supplies the dining hall with herbs and vegetables.

Dining Services strives to uphold the College's commitment to the environment by offering local and organic food, reducing waste by recycling and composting, and by taking measures to conserve energy and water usage.

Local Food

In addition to buying directly from a number of local farmers and food producers, Dining Services is proud to work with a number of local, privately owned and operated food distributors. Each of these companies feature locally produced items, provide employment to area residents, and support their communities. Additionally, Dining Services also participates in the Farm to Institution Program, which provides resources that allow us to buy more from local farmers. Even our main food supplier (Feesers Food Distributors) is based in Harrisburg, PA and provides us with many local Pennsylvania brands.

We buy directly from:
American Beauty Produce
Sandy Ridge Farm
Wawa Dairy Farms
Beechwood Orchards
The Original Bagel, Inc.
Fresh Tofu, Inc.
Basset's Ice Cream
Hope's Cookies

Philadelphia Pretzel Factory

Feesers Food Distributors provides us with food from:
Amoroso's Bakery
Mrs. T's Pierogies
Herr's Foods
Krieder Farms
ASK Foods, Inc.
Bachman Company
Berks Company, Inc.
Stroehmann Bakeries
Hatfield Quality Meats
Kunzler Meats
Hanover Foods
Furmanos Foods
Giorgio Mushrooms
Hershey's Chocolate

Common Market of Philadelphia provides us with food from:
Frecon Fruit Farm
Muth Farm
Buzby Fruit Farm
Burkholder Fruit Farm
Koch's Turkey Farm
Flaim Farms
Cassaday Farm
Landisville Produce Co-Op

We buy from local food distributors:
BK Specialty Food Distributor
Esposito Inc. Fine Meats
Neshaminy Valley Natural Foods Distributor

Petros Bread Distributors & Philadelphia Bakery Merchants provides us with bread from:
Liscio' Bakery

Conshohocken Bakery

Le Bus Bakery
Aversa's Italian Bakery
Kaplan's Bakery


Compost and Reducing Waste

We contract with "Kitchen Harvest" to pick up our kitchen and post consumer compost throughout campus.  This is a local family owned business with passionate husband and wife who "enjoying making good dirt".  The compost is taken to Linvilla Orchards in Middletown, Pa.  By doing this, we divert nearly 75 lbs of food waste a day that normally would end up in a landfill. In Sharples, we have recently set out a compost bucket during dining hours to allow students to compost post-consumer waste. Additionally, Essie Mae's Snack Bar, Kohlberg Coffee Bar, and the Science Center Coffee Bar all offer compostable to-go coffee cups. Recently, Essie Mae's Snack Bar has made the transition to using only compostable plates, cups, lids, coffee cup sleeves, napkins, straws, soup bowls, salad containers, and take-out containers, which has significantly reduced the amount of waste generated at the snack bar.

Here are some further steps that we've taken to reduce waste:

  • We donate excess food to City Team Ministries
  • We suspended the practice of offering plastic water bottles with to-go lunches and at faculty lunches, which saves over 16,000 bottles a year
  • By relocating the paper cups in Sharples Dining Hall, we've cut down on paper cups usage by 40%
  • We recycle our vegetable packaging by returning some of it to local farmers
  • We recycle used vegetable oil via Waste Oil Recyclers; total CO2 savings per year (from recycling the oil) is equivalent to planting 2,024 trees
  • Our To-Go program and our Grab-n-Go programs use minimal packaging and most all is compostable.


    Water and Energy Conservation

    In order to conserve water, Dining Services has recently installed water saving faucets and toilets, as well as a new dishwashing machine which significantly reduces water usage by streamlining the dishwashing process. Additionally, our building is on an energy management operations system, which means the lights, air-conditioning, and heat are turned off whenever possible. It also means that lowered hot water temperatures are used whenever possible in food service operation.