New Local Food at Hampshire Dining Hall and Beyond

Over the summer at UMass, while classes were out and the campus was vacant, the university Dining Team was hard at work. As the spring semester came to a close, the team set two goals for themselves to accomplish before September: create a new menu design and increase local sourcing.  
Throughout the season, UMass Dining worked with professional chefs to innovate a menu based on seasonal New England produce that included more vegetarian options, local and underutilized fish and primal cuts of meat.  
To increase procurement of local food, the team looked into buying produce, grains, dairy and meat from farms and companies within a 250 mile radius. Now that the academic year is in full swing and the dining halls are frequented daily by thousands of hungry students, the team has begun to implement some of these shifts towards local ingredients.  
Currently serving at Hampshire Dining Hall: 

  • Pork and beef from PT Farms, a family owned and operated beef and hog farm located in N. Haverhill, Hew Hampshire. 
  • Milk from Mapeline Farms, a dairy farm located in the neighboring town of Hadley, Massachusetts that has been operating for over a century. 
  • French fries and sweet potato fries from Czajkowski Farm, a semi-organic fruit and vegetable farm which is situated in Hadley, Massachusetts 

Coming to Hampshire October 2014

  • Local chicken from Misty Knoll Farms 
  • Tortillas from Mi Terra, a family owned restaurant in Hadley, Massachusetts that serves authentic Mexican food. 

In addition to increasing the amount of local food it serves, UMass Dining is also dedicated to serving dishes that utilize sustainable ingredients: 
Currently serving in all UMass Dining Halls: 

  • More fresh produce from Joe Czajkowski and FreshPoint, including seasonal hand fruits  
  • Ocean Spray cranberry juice from Massachusetts 
  • Frozen local corn, strawberries, blueberries (starting winter 2014-15) 
  • New England underutilized fish 
  • “Trash fish” as they are also known are fish that were caught by accident and not brought to market because they were deemed unpopular. 

Keep an eye out for these items at a DC near you! 
Looking forward, UMass Dining has a great deal of changes in store. In collaboration with student from the Real Food Challenge, a national campaign that UMass signed onto in Spring ‘13, UMass Dining will continuously work on sourcing more food that is fairly traded, organically produced and humanely raised in addition to locally grown. Stay tuned!