Bates College, ME Local Food Initiative
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UW's CIAS found that Bates College, a small private college with an enrollment of approximately 1,650, began their local food initiative in 1994 and quickly expanded purchases of local food products to approximately 30-40 percent of total purchases, of which 100 percent are organic. The local food initiative at Bates evolved from the college's waste minimization, recycling and composting efforts, and a desire to better integrate the college's operations within a community ecology. The college's food service was recognized as a natural source of compostable materials that could support local growing of food for local consumption. At Bates, the maturity of the project is such that local farmers consult with the Chef and Food Service Director on pre-planting decisions and the logistics of handling, storage and delivery of bulk quantities of potatoes and other crops throughout the school year. Farmers have developed infrastructure to simplify transaction costs including one-call shopping, and coordinated deliveries and invoicing.
In 2000, Bates Dining was honored with the Best of the Best ReNew America (now Renew the Earth) National Award for Sustainability and was also the special recipient of the Christopher and Dana Reeve Award for Environmental Leadership.]