Food

Saint Mary's College and its food service provider, Sodexo, are committed to a more sustainable, healthier and equitable food system. Below are some ways in which we are shifting the needle.

Choose to Reuse  

EAT.  WASH.  REPEAT.  Sodexo is collaborating with Saint Mary's Sustainability to launch a new program that will enable students, staff and faculty to take their food to-go from Oliver Hall in a microwavable and dishwasher-safe container, pictured above. After using the container, diners can simply wipe out any large food residue and return it to the Oliver Hall cashier in exchange for a clean one.  For more information on how the program works click here. In the Fall of 2018, Sodexo estimated that over 2,000 paper plates were being used and disposed of daily in the dining hall.  This program will phase out paper plates altogether beginning Spring Semester 2019 (2/11/2019).  The Choose to Reuse container is being launched during the 2019 JanTerm.  Sodexo is generously giving away 100 reusable clamshell containers (normally $3 Flex / $3.50 cash/credit card) to the first 100 students who take the Choose to Reuse pledge. If you would like a FREE container follow these simple instructions to take the pledge. 

Food Recovery Network

Oliver Hall is a Food Recovery Network member. Twice per week, students box up unserved food and deliver it to a family shelter. In its first year, students helped deliver 2,000 lbs of food (approx. 1,700 meals). To learn more on how to volunteer, please email smcsustainability@stmarys-ca.edu.

Food Services

  • Saint Mary's College spends 35-40 percent of its annual food budget on local items.
  • The college purchases exclusively hormone and antibiotic free milk, fair trade certified and cage free eggs.
  • All dining facilities compost pre and post consumer food waste and are trayless.
  • Additional improvements in waste infrastructure, staff training and student outreach has increased our waste diversion from 44% (2015) to 67% (2018).
  • Not only does Sodexo lean on its sustainable food policies, but it has been a partner for our on-campus Legacy Garden, helping educate students and staff on growing your own food. The Legacy Garden produces approximately 1,200 lbs of produce annually.

Fair Trade

As a Fair Trade College, Saint Mary's College is committed towards sourcing coffee, tea, chocolate and other products from growers that ensure fair wages, safe working conditions that use sustainable practices.  Fair Trade directly connects with our college's Catholic principles and LaSallian identity. 

Throughout the year, the Mission & Ministry Center offer monthly Fair Trade Fridays as well as semi-annual Fair Trade Festivals, helping educate our community on Fair Trade principles. 

Green Mondays

Oliver Hall is a participant of Green Mondays.  Green Monday is a social startup group that aims to tackle climate change and global food insecurity by making low-carbon and sustainable living simple, viral and actionable.  Because the production of meat contributes around 18% of CO2 equivalent greenhouse gas globally, eating a plant-based diet just one day per week can make a big impact.  Every Monday, Chef Gab (Sodexo) offers delicious and creative vegetarian and vegan menu options so you can opt to reduce your carbon footprint without sacrificing the taste. See Oliver Hall sample plant-based menu options attached below. 

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