Dining Services

Educational solutions to the sustainability crisis are vital, but not enough. Bringing together food and education means practicing a new approach to food production, processing and consumption, at both an individual level and in the redesign of our food service systems. We cannot responsibly help our students learn how to change the industrial food practices of our country without striving to make those changes ourselves.

Getting food directly from farm to dining hall is our goal. The challenges associated with changing practices on an industry level are vast, but not insurmountable.  We strive to develop models that overcome these challenges.

We work with Dining Services to:

• Direct the College’s food dollars toward local, sustainable food producers.

• Develop innovative sourcing and purchasing models.

• Evaluate and organize local farm to table supply.
• Reduce waste by improving composting program and offering reusable lunch boxes.
• Plan menus that reflect seasonal, regional availability.
• Establish regular use of student garden produce in dining hall salad bars.
• Develop and post educational and informational food didactics within all dining halls.

Williams College assesses food on the following sustainability criteria. Currently, 10% of food purchased by Williams College Dining Services meets one or more of these criteria.


• Grown and processed within 250 miles of the institution.

250 miles is the working definition of “local” for Williams College food procurement.



• Ecological production methodology that is third-party certified e.g. organic, IPM, certified naturally grown, etc.




• Grown on a farm that operates as a cooperative, has a profit sharing policy, or has a social responsibility policy covering its producer relationships, such as businesses cover by these Social Responsibility certifications.