Leading the Way in Sustainability at UNCA

In Asheville, North Carolina, people participate in humane meat shares; restaurants proudly display “green restaurant” certifications; and Fair Trade coffee is available at countless cafes. It’s no wonder UNC Asheville’s shift toward sustainability began a few years ago. Since then, UNC Asheville Dining Services has been sourcing from local Mountain Foods and regional New Sprout Farms. To keep capital in the community, UNCA Dining Services also works with local purveyors, including No Evil Foods, Dynamite Coffee, Smiling Hara, Poppy’s Popcorn and The Hop Ice Cream.

At the heart of UNCA Dining Services’ sustainability efforts is its work with Asheville-based Food Connection. Every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday a Food Connection volunteer picks up unused food and delivers it to various city organizations, where it’s promptly served to those in need. To date, UNCA Dining Services has donated some 30,000 meals to this nonprofit, averaging 220 pounds of rescued food per week.
Food Connection also serves as an important piece in UNCA’s FEEDS (Farm-forward Eating and Environmentally Driven Sustainability) program, communicating sustainability efforts around campus. At UNCA, sustainability is anything but a trend, and the university will continue working toward a better and brighter future.