One of the University of Puget Sound's missions is to create a sustainable campus community. Dining and Conference Services utilizes the many local businesses and farms to aid in achieving that goal.
LeanPath is a food waste reduction system that our team has collaborated with since 2016. Food waste is a major concern for our planet and reducing our kitchen’s food waste is a top sustainability priority for our kitchen team. Using the LeanPath system, Dining and Conference Services (DCS) was able to reduce the total food waste produced in the 2016 school year by over 10,000 pounds.
In 2014 the University of Puget Sound invested in a new dining facility with sustainability in mind. We partnered with the City of Tacoma and installed three large Insinkerators in our kitchen. An Insinkerator is a large, industrial-grade food waste disposer that grinds up food waste and diverts it to a City of Tacoma processing plant. From there, all food waste from the kitchen is turned into TAGRO (short for "Tacoma Grow") products. These are premium soil products used for landscaping, vegetable gardens and indoor container gardens throughout the Tacoma community. To create a full cycle, the on campus community garden buys back TAGRO products. We then use the vegetables grown in the garden to feed the students, and any food waste from that then gets processed back into TAGRO.
In addition to the City of Tacoma TAGRO program, Dining and Conference Services is dedicated to providing food to local charities such as the Guadalupe House and Salvation Army through our Food Salvage Program with the help of students from the Food Justice Program. This vital service supplies food to people and families in need within our community and helps relieve some financial burden the charities face when purchasing food.
Creative King Organic Salmon: We proudly serve only certified organic Chinook salmon from the west coast of Vancouver Island. The salmon are raised using sustainable and responsible practices. Creative Salmon works in cooperation with the Tlaoquiaht First Nation on traditional tribal territory and employ a full time tribal liaison to ensure respect of tribal land and water. Each salmon is free of pesticides, antibiotics, color dyes, and is fed a healthy diet of non-GMO feed.
Columbia River Steelhead: We proudly serve Steelhead Trout from the Pacific Aquaculture Steelhead Farm, raised right here on Columbia River in Washington State. Their commitment to sustainable farming practices has earned them a Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) certification by the Global Aquaculture Alliance (GAA) as well as the BEST CHOICE recommendation from the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch Program.
Wilcox Family Farms: Dining and Conference Services is proud to only serve cage-free eggs from this local farm located in Roy, Washington. Wilcox Family Farms is a 100 year old farm that sits on 1,500 acres of sustainable farmland along the Nisqually River in the foothills of Mt Rainier. Wilcox Family Farms was founded in 1909 by Judson and Elizabeth Wilcox who set out to build a family business and ultimately a lifelong legacy. Since its beginnings, Wilcox Farms has been known for supplying high quality, farm fresh eggs to families and businesses in the Pacific Northwest.
Charlie's Produce: The main produce supplier for Dining and Conference Services is Charlie's Produce. Each week, Charlie's Produce sends out "Local Update" sheets to our team of chefs, which they use to ensure they are purchasing as much local produce as possible. These Local Updates tell the chefs what items are local, what region or town they are coming from, and the name of the farm that produces the items.
Auburn Dairy: Auburn Dairy is a local family producer of high quality yogurts including the Zoi and Yami brands. Their milk is sourced from local farmers and produced on site, less than 16 miles from the university.
Medosweet Farms: Medosweet Farms is the primary provider of dairy products used in Dining and Conference Services. They partner with local dairy farms, such as Twin Brook Creamery in Lynden, WA and Smith Brothers Farms in the Kent Valley, to supply us with the highest quality of local dairy products.
Frank's Donuts and Muffins: Located in Tacoma, Frank's Donuts and Muffins delivers freshly baked pastries to the Diner seven days a week.
Essential Baking: This Seattle area bakery’s core purpose is to nourish the body and soul of the community by providing superior artisan baked goods, using only the highest quality ingredients. They strive with passion, integrity, innovation, and authenticity. Essential is committed to being environmentally and socially responsible while maintaining the highest respect for our employees, customers, and business partners.
Blazing Bagels: Blazing Bagels provides great food prepared with passion, care and all-natural ingredients. All of the bagels are made exclusively with flour made from Shepard’s Grain flour, grown locally on Washington and Oregon farms.
Tacoma Tofu: All tofu served by Dining and Conference Services is supplied by Tacoma Tofu. There are many choices when purchasing tofu, but we choose to support this privately held, family owned business right here in Tacoma.
Flying Apron Bakery: For vegan and gluten-free items we cannot produce on site, we choose to partner with Flying Apron Bakery based out of Seattle. They supply the Diner with pre-packaged items that support vegan lifestyles and gluten, wheat, sugar, dairy or egg allergies.
Columbia Gorge: Columbia Gorge Organic is Northwest family owned company that specializes in all organic, locally sourced fruit juices and smoothies.
Stumptown Roasters: Dining and Conference Services now proudly serves Stumptown Coffee, based out of Portland, Oregon. Stumptown emphasizes single-origin coffee and creating a close relationship with the communities that cultivate our wonderful coffee. We are serving organic and directly traded coffees in all our locations across campus.
The Puget Sound Community Garden is a student-run garden on the University of Puget Sound campus. It is open to everyone and is a place for people to come together and share interests. This garden is a space that helps bring together members of our student body with community members in the surrounding neighborhoods. It is also a productive garden. Students who work in the garden take home vegetables for their hard work. They also provide herbs and produce to the Diner so the entire campus community can enjoy the bounty our garden produces.
Loggers Live Green
University of Puget Sound has many initiatives to create a sustainable campus. From the Sustainability Advisory Committee (SAC), to Sustainability Services, to the Environmental Campus Outreach (ECO) club, there are many ways Puget Sound stays sustainable. One new initiative is the list of Top 10 Actions everyone can do to create a sustainable campus. This list includes habits centered around dining, such as bringing your own cup to the cafes and diner, ordering meals for here, and to refill water bottles at the tap or fountains rather than buying bottled water. Dining and Conference Services is always happy to aid in the efforts put forth by the university to make our campus a more sustainable place. Click here to view more of the university's sustainability goals and initiatives.