Sustainable Food and Dining at Colgate Skip Navigation

Food & Dining

Our location in central New York means we are surrounded by a bounty of food each year. Instead of wasting resources in shipping food, we encourage local, healthy, and sustainable dining. 
Community Garden greenhouse

Living Local

One of our main goals is to maximize the utilization of local agriculture on campus. Already, around 30 percent of our food purchases are either local and community-based, or third-party certified.

Buying locally allows us to support our farming community, reduce emissions associated with transporting large quantities of food over long distances, and provide high-quality, fresh food to the Colgate community.

Local Suppliers

Colgate purchases from a number of local vendors - and now, you can too! Check out some of our local partners below: 
Dan Purdy and Sons
We are proud of our relationship with Dan Purdy and Sons of nearby Sherburne, N.Y.  As the only USDA federally inspected local agricultural processors of meats, poultry, and seafood in the region, Purdy and Sons streamlines Colgate’s purchase and consumption of locally produced food for our dining halls. Moreover, Purdy and Sons specializes in responsible and organic farming practices. Purdy and Sons Website
Mento Produce
Mento is one of our produce suppliers, providing local, in-season produce. Mento is located in nearby Syracuse, N.Y. Mento Produce Website
Common Thread Community Farm
Colgate Dining Services purchases produce from Common Thread Community Farm, located only five miles north of campus near Lake Moraine. Numerous students, faculty, and staff also have shares through Common Thread. By supporting Common Thread, shareholders get delectable and nutritious, locally grown food that helps support not only a vibrant and healthy food system but also the local economy. Common Thread Website
Crowley Foods 
Our milk supplier is Crowley Dairy located in Binghamton, N.Y. Crowley Foods delivers locally produced milk from Madison, Chenango, and Cortland counties. Crowley Website
Colgate University is located in Madison County, home to several sustainable food options. Here are some places where you can get locally-sourced, fresh produce! 

Community Service

Colgate University's goal for sustainable dining does not only pertain to reducing our carbon footprint. We also support our local community to help ensure that each family has a healthy meal in their plate.

Community Vegetable Garden
Through the dedicated efforts of our students and the support of faculty and alumni, we started our own community garden in 2010. The Colgate Community Garden continues to provide produce to the Hamilton Food Cupboard, a food pantry that serves the Hamilton & Madison School Districts. 

Colgate Hunger Outreach Program (CHOP)
This group of student volunteers addresses issues of hunger in Madison County and strives to educate the Colgate community about the deeper issues surrounding hunger and poverty. Join the club by dropping by their booth in the Activities Fair or contact one of the team leaders. 

Made-to-order meals are served on non-disposable china in Frank Dining Hall.


Project Clean Plate
Project Clean Plate was launched to enhance awareness among students about unnecessary food waste and encourage students to significantly reduce the amount of food wasted at each meal. Incentives are given to students who return a clean plate to the tray return and once specific waste reduction benchmarks are achieved, Chartwells will make a donation to the Hamilton Food Cupboard in the name of Colgate University.
Meatless Options
Colgate University acknowledges the health and environmental benefits of cutting down on meat consumption. Frank Dining Hall's “Rooted in Good Taste” section provides both vegetarian and vegan options. Chartwells' Made-to-Order Program makes vegan and vegetarian sandwiches and pasta, and vegetarian omelets. Students are encouraged to be a “flexitarian,” eating at least one meatless meal per week. In the future, Colgate plans to implement more campus-wide events such as Meatless Mondays.
Trayless Dining
Students in ENST 390 investigated the costs and benefits of removing trays from Frank Dining Hall, a strategy eventually adopted to reduce food waste. READ THE REPORT
'gate-to-go is an easy way to reduce waste when eating on the go. Students, faculty and staff pay $5 to receive a token for a reusable clamshell container. Tokens can be purchased and redeemed at Donovan's Pub or the Coop.

Bring your token to Donovan's Pub or the Coop, where you can order and pay for a tasty meal to-go. Eat whenever and wherever you like. Return your used container whenever it is convenient and receive a clean container or token.