Swarthmore strives to provide students with healthy, environmentally responsible food options while reducing waste and energy consumption. Our main food supplier (Feesers Food Distributors) is based in Harrisburg, PA, and provides many regional brands. Dining Services also buys directly from a number of local farmers and food producers. Buying food locally ensures fresher produce, reduces the environmental impact of transporting food long distances, and supports the local economy and communities.
- The now paid Green Advisors manage the day-to-day compost efforts on campus as well as education on reducing food waste. By composting kitchen scraps and post-consumer waste, the College diverts nearly 75 lbs of food waste a day.
- The student-led Good Food Project works to promote awareness about food as the intersection of sustainability, health, and social justice and maintains a campus garden.
- Essie Mae's Snack Bar, Kohlberg Coffee Bar, and the Science Center Coffee Bar all offer compostable to-go coffee cups. Essie Mae's Snack Bar uses 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.
- Vegetable packaging is returned to local farmers for reuse.
- Dining Services makes every effort to minimize food waste and donates excess food to City Team Ministries.
- Changing over from individual bottled water to providing a water cooler in conjunction with to-go lunches and at faculty lunches has eliminated the use of more than 16,000 plastic bottles each year.
- Dining Services recycles used vegetable oil. The CO2 savings from recycling the oil has a net impact equivalent to planting 2,024 trees.
- Water saving faucets and toilets, as well as a new dishwashing machine, have significantly reduced water consumption by Dining Services and its facilities.
- New gaskets have been installed on all refrigerators to maximize efficiency.