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These days, college students and catering clients around the country are demanding sustainable food practices from their dining services.

Reuse station different bins for sorting waste; landfill and recycling

JCCC Dining Services supports the college’s effort to make decisions based on sustainability that preserve the values of environmental, economic and social responsibility by:

  • Initiating a refillable mug program in 2008
  • Hosting a series of sustainability dinners stressing locally produced food, dairy and meats
  • Reducing Styrofoam by 50 percent since 2007 by replacing it with hard plastic plates and silverware
  • Offering reusable clamshell containers and soup cups in 2009
  • Partnering with the Office of Sustainability on recycling efforts
  • Using produce from the JCCC student farm
  • Returning preconsumer waste for composting
  • Developing the “Greens” concept using locally grown produce and goods from JCCC’s student farm
  • Installing a re-bottle water station to reduce plastic water bottle usage
  • Offering and promoting recycling for catered functions and making suggestions for local sourcing of food for menus

From supporting local farm stands on campuses, to teaching Dining Services staff how to cook with local and sustainable ingredients, to participating in national campaigns to raise awareness about green eating, young learners have become integral to the larger process of change.

The term "sustainable" in this case refers to agricultural practices that are environmentally friendly (e.g., organic or with minimal pesticides), support local small farmers and promote healthy, diversified diets.

Johnson County Community College Dining Services and its catering division are committed to local sourcing of food products. It incorporates the products in many of its menu items.

Special menus featuring local foods can be created by executive chef Marc McCann.