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The Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System™ (STARS) is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance.

Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 56.68
Liaison Jeanne Gulnick
Submission Date July 18, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Saint Joseph's College - ME
OP-8: Sustainable Dining

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Stuart Leckie
General Manager
Foodservice
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor have a published sustainable dining policy?:
Yes

A brief description of the sustainable dining policy:

Philosophy
Fresh is the name of the game. Menus are written based on the seasonality and availability of regional product, meaning food offerings are varied and rotate often. Whenever possible, Pearson's partners with local farms, artisans and Maine companies to procure produce that is grown using sustainable and organic practices, which includes the vegetables that come from our own Pearson's Town Farm. In order to preserve the quality of these premium products, fruits and vegetables are prepared at the last possible minute and served in the smallest possible batches.
We take the same approach to our protein options, too. Chicken, beef and pork is purchased free of antibiotics and added growth hormones. In adherence with the guidelines recommended by the Maine Stewardship Council, our tuna is dolphin-safe and water-packed, salmon is wild-caught, and seafood is purchased fresh as available. All our milk products are purchased free of any artificial growth hormones.
In the Pearson's kitchen, chemically-preserved, prepared food is not the way. Our mashed potatoes are never from a box, we use only freshly squeezed lemon juice for cooking. Our “from-scratch” mantra comes into play whenever possible: salsas, pizza, marinara, and other sauces are made by hand; stocks are prepared in-house; most salad dressings are homemade; and cookies, muffins, and breads are baked fresh daily. The use of MSG, additives and preservatives is never allowed in the preparation of our foods.


Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor source food from a campus garden or farm?:
Yes

A brief description of the program to source food from a campus garden or farm:

The campus farm "Pearson's Cafe" is operated by Sustainable Enterprises. The farm consists of two full time employees and the balance of labor is made up from the following;
Students in paid positions
Student Volunteers
Community Volunteers
Requirement for all students to participate between 2-4 hours in core class "Environmental Science"
Produce and animal proteins are transferred to the cafe each week.
As menus are written weekly, the cafe will take whatever is available from eh farm and incorporate it into the weekly menu.


Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor host a farmers market, community supported agriculture (CSA) or fishery program, and/or urban agriculture project, or support such a program in the local community?:
Yes

A brief description of the farmers market, CSA or urban agriculture project:

During the summer months the Farm runs a farmers market open 7 days a week along with a CSA program available to Faculty, Staff and the Public.

The CSA sells 3 different size shares with two of the shares incorporating farm proteins..


Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor have a vegan dining program that makes diverse, complete-protein vegan options available to every member of the campus community at every meal?:
Yes

A brief description of the vegan dining program:

Our Vegan offerings are plentiful everyday. We make sure that a lot of our side dishes are vegan especially vegetables and starches. We also offer a vegan pasta sauce everyday, an entree and a rotating soup from vegetarian to vegan. We have at least 4 vegan house made salad dressings daily. Because of our from scratch philosophy vegans have plenty to choose from whilst dining at Pearson's Cafe.


Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor host low impact dining events (e.g. Meatless Mondays)?:
Yes

A brief description of the low impact dining events:

The Eco reps on campus have coordinated a Meatless Monday campaign.
One of the classes on campus has hosted a clean plate campaign, demonstrating the importance of not taking more food than you can eat!!


Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor host sustainability-themed meals (e.g. local harvest dinners)?:
Yes

A brief description of the sustainability-themed meals:

Every year we host a Sustainability Festival for the greater community. During this time frame we serve an "All Local Lunch" . The menu is made up from only local vendors. Some of the local vendors, farmers and artisans come to campus to man a booth and talk about their product.


Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor host a sustainability-themed food outlet on-site, either independently or in partnership with a contractor or retailer?:
No

A brief description of the sustainability-themed food outlet:
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Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor inform customers about low impact food choices and sustainability practices through labeling and signage in dining halls?:
Yes

A brief description of the sustainability labeling and signage in dining halls:

We offer an extensive labeling program.
Gluten Free
Dairy Free
Allergen Free
Healthy Choice


Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor engage in outreach efforts to support learning and research about sustainable food systems?:
Yes

A brief description of the outreach efforts to support learning and research about sustainable food systems:

We also operate a food pantry. At the food pantry we have offered cooking classes to our clients and healthy education programs.
We have also demonstrated the use of Kelp in recipes and the benefit this can bring, Healthy and Sustainability wise.
We have visited the Gulf of Maine reach outlet to understand best fishing practices so we can interpret what is sustainable.
Mark Green one of our professors is actively teaching students about Aquaponics and we serve the lettuce in the cafe from his classroom.


Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor have other sustainability-related initiatives (e.g. health and wellness initiatives, making culturally diverse options available)?:
Yes

A brief description of the other sustainability-related dining initiatives:

The health and wellness program on campus runs a series of programs around dining related topics such as;
How to eat healthy around the Holidays
Know where you fish comes from
Essential Oils for your body

We also bring in various vendors to demonstrate new sustainable products. Such as frozen yogurt, Kelp smoothies etc


Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor participate in a competition or commitment program and/or use a food waste prevention system to track and improve its food management practices?:
Yes

A brief description of the food recovery competition or commitment program or food waste prevention system:

The kitchen actively weighs its waste. Keeping track of Pre-Consumer and Post-Consumer waste. All food waste from the dining services is then composted and also tracked again.


Has the institution or its primary dining services contractor implemented trayless dining (in which trays are removed from or not available in dining halls) and/or modified menus/portions to reduce post-consumer food waste?:
Yes

A brief description of the trayless dining or modified menu/portion program:

Our trayless program started in August of 2007. I believe we were the first college to go completely trayless dining.

The year before we did a trayless day of dining and monitored the results. It was about 25% less waste on the trayless days. Basically we just implemented the program upon return. The biggest complaints came from faculty and staff but after one week it was all good!!


Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor donate food that would otherwise go to waste to feed people?:
Yes

A brief description of the food donation program:

We have a food salvaging program in place. Each meal period leftover food is salvaged from the hot line and placed in metal, oven proof containers. These meals are portioned individually and frozen. The meals are transported to Catherine's Cupboard our own Food Pantry once a week where they are given out along with other items.


Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor divert food materials from the landfill, incinerator or sewer for animal feed or industrial uses (e.g. converting cooking oil to fuel, on-site anaerobic digestion)?:
Yes

A brief description of the food materials diversion program:

We recycle all our oils used for cooking to a Bio-Diesel company
All food food from all dining service operations is composted.
There are also compost statioins around campus in hiogh retail food areas


Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor have a pre-consumer composting program?:
Yes

A brief description of the pre-consumer composting program:

All of our pre-consumer waste from the kitchen gets transported to Pearson Town Farm. The farm is owned and operated by the College and we have been composting for 5 years. Currently, our compost facility is off line and compost is being collected from by Garbage to Garden a local Composting company


Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor have a post-consumer composting program?:
Yes

A brief description of the post-consumer composting program:

Students are encourage to scape their plates in front of the dish return including their paper napkin. The dish washing crew will also scrape plates from the other side for those that chose not to. All of this postconsumer waste goes to Perason Town Farm


Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor utilize reusable service ware for “dine in” meals?:
Yes

A brief description of the reusable service ware program:

For large events we have been using NO disposable or compostable material for plates or cutlery. We are then composting all food waste and napkins.


Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor provide reusable and/or third party certified compostable containers and service ware for “to-go” meals (in conjunction with an on-site composting program)?:
Yes

A brief description of the compostable containers and service ware:

The board plan offers a TO-GO program where the student purchases a reusable container for $5.00. This container can be used at any meal period for a swipe of their meal card. When they bring back the container dirty we replace it with a clean one. This is the only TO-GO option we offer. We do not allow any other form of take out f


Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor offer discounts or other incentives to customers who use reusable containers (e.g. mugs) instead of disposable or compostable containers in “to-go” food service operations?:
Yes

A brief description of the reusable container discount or incentives program:

Any reusable mug can be refilled at our discounted rate which saves 25 cents on a beverage.


Has the institution or its primary dining services contractor implemented other materials management initiatives to minimize waste not covered above (e.g. working with vendors and other entities to reduce waste from food packaging)?:
Yes

A brief description of other dining services materials management initiatives:

The Eco reps on campus introduced Terracycle. This is an outlet for candy wrappers, shampoo bottles, plastic bags, disposable gloves, chip packets, tooth paste tubes etc.


The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.