Sourcing local, sustainable, and community-based food is vital to Colgate University’s sustainability efforts.


Living Local

Purchasing local, sustainable, and humanely produced food supports responsible farming practices while reducing emissions and environmental impacts. The location of the University in the agricultural region of Central New York provides many great options for finding local suppliers of high-quality foods.

Procuring local food has additional benefits such as supporting rural communities, our local economy, and the University’s neighbors.

Nearly 30 percent of Colgate’s food spend is on local and/or sustainably sourced food, and the University seeks to improve this in the coming years.

Local Suppliers

Colgate works with several area distributors who specialize in sourcing their products from local farmers and producers. This further supports our local economy while allowing us to purchase a wide variety of fresh and local food items. The University also serves food sourced from:

Students who manage the Colgate Community Garden utilize organic farming practices to grow herbs and vegetables to supply Colgate’s dining halls, a campus produce stand, and the local food cupboard.

More about the community garden

Colgate Dining Services purchases produce from Common Thread Community Farm, located five miles north of campus. Numerous students, faculty, and staff also have shares through Common Thread.

Common Thread website

Community Service

In addition to reducing its carbon footprint, Colgate University's promotion of sustainable local dining also supports the local community. Colgate’s efforts extend to helping ensure that local families have access to healthy meals.

Supplying Hamilton Food Cupboard

The Colgate Community Garden, which is researched and managed by students, donates half the produce it yields to the Hamilton Food Cupboard, a local food pantry serving the Hamilton & Madison School Districts.

Colgate Hunger Outreach Program (CHOP)

This group of student volunteers addresses issues of hunger in Madison County, educating the Colgate community about the underlying issues of hunger and poverty.

More about CHOP