Franklin & Marshall College Franklin & Marshall College

The Food System

Franklin & Marshall is committed to creating a campus environment that promotes locally grown and responsibly produced foods that enhance health and well-being, support the local economy, and protect the environment. A companion goal of the Sustainability Master Plan is to reduce waste in the dining halls.

The plan sets immediate and long-term goals for the food system, including the following:

  • Goal 1: Reduce the negative environmental impacts of the campus food system and food procurement policies, with particular emphasis on impacts to the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.
    • Strategy 1: Establish a method that enables the College to quantify, as much as possible, its environmental impacts from product transportation, preparation, consumption and disposal of foods on campus for purposes of establishing baselines and tracking progress with a focus on impact to the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.
    • Strategy 2: Establish a food procurement plan that supports Goal 1.
    • Strategy 3: Reduce food, solid and recycling waste generated by dining services.
    • Strategy 4: Reduce the impact of the College's food procurement on the Chesapeake Bay Watershed by leveraging buying power, conducting outreach programs and promoting education on regional agricultural practices, water quality enhancement, soil conservation, reduction of pesticide use and toxicity, protection of wildlife habitat, and other conservation measures.
    • Strategy 5: Ensure that the campus food provider is contractually bound to enable achievement of Goal 1.
  • Goal 2: Develop a campus culture that supports the local food economy and the consumption of responsibly produced foods.
    • Strategy 1: Provide opportunities for students and surrounding community members to become educated on the consumption of responsibly produced foods.
    • Strategy 2: Create and support internship programs for students that teach them about, and connect them to, the local food system and sustainable agriculture.
    • Strategy 3: Foster community food security efforts and ways to bring locally grown foods to more Lancaster residents.
    • Strategy 4: Ensure that the campus food provider is contractually bound to enable achievement of Goal 2.
  • Group 3: Enhance the support of the local food economy through increased procurement of locally grown and responsibly produced foods.
    • Strategy 1: Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the College's current food procurement system to adapt to increased sourcing of locally grown and sustainably produced foods, with the goal of addressing impediments and barriers. Elements to be considered include (but are not limited to) product liability insurance, supply volume, ordering logistics, brokerage fees, aggregation and standardized packaging.
    • Strategy 2: Be responsive to the evolving nature of the local food system in order to capture opportunities and maximize positive impacts.
    • Strategy 3: Ensure that the campus food provider is contractually bound to enable achievement of Goal 3.
  • Goal 4: Increase the offering of holistically nutritious food whose quality and quantity support the health and well-being of the campus community.
    • Strategy 1: Make a commitment to using foods, menus and preparation techniques that contribute to holistic wellness.
    • Strategy 2: Source an existing protocol (or develop an F&M-specific version) to guide the purchasing of meats, vegetables and dairy products that are preferred alternatives to those grown, raised or processed conventionally.
    • Strategy 3: Ensure that the campus food provider is contractually bound to enable achievement of Goal 4.

Existing Initiatives Cited in the Plan
The College contracts with a food service provider to manage its dining services. In 2010, 17.3 percent of food purchased for the campus was local to the region or state. All of the food prepared for the campus is prepared in the kitchen of the main dining hall. Most food is prepared from scratch and most items are made fresh to order. F&M currently lacks the data to understand how it can reduce the environmental impact of its food preparation and processing.