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Unity College. Promoting Local Foods on Campus. What is local?. “To me, being local is within an hour or two.” Ian Saylor “…food grown or produced in the community and or surrounding communities.” Hannah Brzycki

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unity college

Unity College

Promoting Local

Foods on Campus

what is local
What is local?
  • “To me, being local is within an hour or two.” Ian Saylor
  • “…food grown or produced in the community and or surrounding communities.” Hannah Brzycki
  • “Local to me means within 100 miles…Shorter the distance the better” Will Hafford
  • “…within a 50 mile radius…the state of Maine or sometimes New England.” Barry Woods
thinking locally
Thinking locally…
  • “…it would show that we support the town and the local communities…It will show that we are going to step up and make a change.” Hannah Brzycki
  • “Great idea…supporting local farms and producers...the bulk of the foods sourced should be purchased from local producers…Unless we all do our part to support our local farms we will lose them.” Barry Woods
why is it good for the college
Why is it good for the college?
  • Supports community
    • Involves students with community
    • Brings more income for local economy
  • Environmental impact
    • Carbon footprint
    • Farming practices
  • Supports the mission
    • Opportunities for ecological education
    • Environmental stewards & responsible citizens
  • Food security
  • Healthier eating
dining services sustainability plan
Dining Services Sustainability Plan
  • Purchase and grow more local foods for use in dining facilities
  • 5% increase each year in the amount of dining services budget being spent on local foods
    • 15% as of 2008
  • 10% decrease in food miles each year

How can we reach these goals?

successful models
Successful Models

We chose institutions of similar size and location, and spoke with the staff member responsible for local foods.

bowdoin college green mountain college
  • Coordinator hired specifically to work on the garden and farm year round
  • Large student involvement that included majors, classes, clubs, and work study
  • Distributing companies employed supported local farmers
  • Increased meal plan prices
  • Obtained grants/funding and assistance
  • Utilized root cellar
specific recommendations
Specific Recommendations
  • Hire a coordinator
  • Student workers
    • Work study and summer
  • Root cellar
  • Grants
  • Student involvement
  • Expand the garden
student involvement
Student Involvement

We surveyed current student opinion, spoke with faculty and staff, and explored ideas for curricular and co-curricular involvement.


Current students are supportive

  • Unity Experience faculty are supportive
  • New curriculum opportunities
specific recommendations11
Specific Recommendations

How Far From the Tree Does Your Apple Fall?

  • Curricular
    • Environmental Stewardship Fair in UE
    • Environmental Sustainability & Biology 1
    • New FAS major: work with local farmers about grants
  • Co-Curricular
    • Educational signage in SAC and café
    • Dorm bulletin boards
    • Clubs
    • Speakers/Films



  • Fresher
  • Handled less
  • Greater variety
  • Assists local economy
  • Less road miles
  • Know where your food comes from
  • Unnecessary pollution
  • Doesn’t support the local economy
  • Older food
  • Less variety
  • Handled more
  • Unknown source

Support Local Farmers!

campus resources
Campus Resources

We spoke with students, faculty and staff associated with the farm, garden and hoop house, and researched current and future resources.


Tinker Demonstration Farm

    • Plans for more animals
  • Hoop house
    • Summer produce
  • Community Garden
    • One work-study position
specific recommendations14
Specific Recommendations
  • Tinker Demonstration Farm
    • Adding more animals for variety of purposes
  • Hoop house and Community Garden
    • Support for management
    • Student involvement
  • Expanding resources
    • Work study & summer positions
    • Storage capacity
    • Root cellar
    • Dehydrator
cost and availability
Cost and Availability

We coordinated with dining service administrators, researched and contacted local farmers and distributors.


Foods already available at school

  • Current contracts with distributors
  • Budget
  • Grant opportunities
  • Foods to focus on
  • Product availability and price
specific recommendations17
Specific Recommendations
  • Renegotiate North Center contract
  • Budget increase
  • Apply for grants
  • Farm-to-College
  • Focus on greens, meats, eggs
  • Luce’s Meats
  • Identify local foods on catering menus
  • Work with brokers and distributors

We researched the regulations in the Maine Food Code.


Organic Produce

    • In order for organic food to stay certified it must not come into contact with any thing that is non-organic
  • Eggs
    • Grade B, inspection once every quarter year by USDA, outside sources must be a USDA certified location
    • Sanitation policies
  • Beef
    • Certified USDA killed
  • Wild Game
    • Commercially raised and processed in an inspected facility
    • requires a USDA certification

Summary of Short Term Recommendations (1-2 Years)

  • Four additional student work positions – on campus gardens
  • SAC and café – consideration in the Unity College master plan
  • At least 3% budget increase on top of inflation for at least the first 2 years
    • Re-evaluate financial need at the end of the fiscal year
  • North Center contract – alterations
  • Grant funding from outside sources to support Unity’s local food program
  • Addition of local food information to Unity Experience Curriculum
  • Biology I and Environmental Sustainability classes
  • Hire farm and garden coordinator
  • Educational signs in residential halls, Café, and SAC
  • New partnerships with local food growers & distributors
  • Join Farm to College program
  • Focus on growing high value items on campus
  • Encourage local food requests for catering
  • Develop a protocol that facilitates the use of local eggs

Intermediate Recommendations (3-4 years)

  • Creation of a root cellar to prolong the availability of local produce
  • Purchase or build a dehydrator for campus use
  • Expand gardens
  • Develop grant opportunities with local farmers through the FAS major

Long Term Recommendations (5+ years)

  • Larger selection of animals at Tinker demonstration farm that are able to be used to sustain the Student Center and cafeteria
  • Acquire all certifications required to raise chicken to produce eggs for the Student Center and cafeteria
  • Combine Student Center and cafeteria

“I feel it would be an excellent idea to incorporate local foods…local foods are in better condition (taste and presentation) than foods that travel thousands of miles.  It supports local farmers and businesses and would strengthen our ties to the community at large.” Will Hafford


Sandy Donahue (Director of Dining Services)

Charlie Krause (Student Center Manager, Catering Chef)

Mitchell Thomashow (President, Unity College)

Aimee Phillippi (Professor, Unity College)

Unity College Students

Doug Fox (Professor, Unity College)

Jon Sawyer (Unity College’s FFA Advisor )

Rob Constantine (Vice President for College Advancement)

Martha Doblen (Education Coordinator)

Pam Stone (Unity College Dining Services)

Lorey Duprey (Assistant Dining Services Manager)

Cindy Thomashow (Center for Environmental Education)

Ray Stuart (Unity College student, SGA treasurer, garden coordinator)

Mark Tardif (Associate Director of Communications)

Michele Gaillard at Bowdoin College

David Onrdia at Green Mountain College

“Maine Food Code” from the Maine Department of Health and Human Services

Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA)

Melissa White Pillsbury (Organic Marketing Coordinator at MOFGA)

Native Maine Produce LLC

brought to you by
Brought to you by…
  • Keith Blanchette, Caleb Button, Lisa Casagrande, Jess Cole, Whitney Corbran, Sarah Corrigan, Jess Curtis, Dorothy Garceau, Andy Heim, Becky Hutton, Heather Johnston, Jen McClain, Henry Moncrief, Greg Morrison, Alison Renaud, Travis Thompson, Jake Urrutia , and Josh Wade.

Environmental Citizens