Whether they live on campus or commute, finding ways to eat healthily is a priority for most students. That’s why Westfield State made the move to launch its own self-operated dining services last year. The change places student feedback and sustainability at the top of the priority list.
And the foods students appreciate the most are the healthier choices like the all day omelets station, stir fry stations or sushi bar.
“We have food that people will appreciate eating every day,” says Andrew Manchino, a member of the Food Services Committee.
But it wasn’t just healthier options the students wanted. They wanted to support local farmers and producers, too. Westfield State now partners with around 10 area vendors, like Hinckley Harvest Farms, to provide local and seasonal offerings such as locally grown produce, fresh caught fish, and even some sweets like pumpkin whoopie pies in the fall.
The push towards sustainable foods goes beyond just the campus Dining Hall. It carries over into the First Year Read, also. This year’s selection, The Good Food Revolution: Growing Healthy Food, People, and Communities by Will Allen, told the story of one man’s innovative farming techniques in urban communities. During November of 2016, Allen visited campus for a lecture about sustainable practices, agricultural development and the impact of supporting local businesses.
The transformation means more than just better dining options on campus, (although everyone loves good food). It means that the student body can enact change. The Dining Services Committee routinely collects survey card and meets with the Student Government Association each week to make sure that student comments and concerns are being addressed.
After all, the Dining Hall is more than just a place to eat. It’s where Westfield State students come together daily to study, socialize or even take on the mannequin challenge. Definitely food for thought when figuring out what college you should go to.
Learn even more about Westfield State’s sustainable dining services here.