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Food & Living

As Stanford’s largest auxiliary department, Residential & Dining Enterprises (R&DE) includes Student Housing, Stanford Dining, Hospitality & Auxiliaries and Stanford Conferences. R&DE is the largest provider of food service on campus, serving more than six million meals annually. 

R&DE's Sustainable Living and Sustainable Food Program help to embed sustainable behaviors and choices into the daily habits of students, provide sustainable,  humane, and socially-responsible foods whenever possible, reduce waste in operations, and educate the community. Learn more about ongoing initiatives.


View the 2017-18 Sustainability Year in Review for more detailed information on yearly performance.

  • Stanford continued its leadership in the Menus of Change University Research Collaborative (MCURC), a network of 55 colleges and universities in the US, UK, and Asia, plus ex-officio members such as Google and Airbnb,  and research collaborators such as the World Resources Institute and the Better Buying Lab. Collectively, the group serves 700,000 meals per day, and current students in these universities will consume 15 billion meals in their lifetime. This past year, R&DE Stanford Dining and MCURC have focused on education related to sustainability and research around reducing students’ food waste.
  • R&DE Stanford Dining expanded its support of the academic mission through guest lectures in courses, support of 11 class projects, theses, and capstone projects, and the continuation of its academic class "Grow It. Cook It. Eat It." The 3-credit course in Earth Systems and the, was taught for the second time in collaboration with Stanford’s FEED Collaborative, an academic program in sustainable food system education and design thinking education. The course explores how to empower students to make informed choices in interdisciplinary food systems with an emphasis on food choices that impact climate change.
  • R&DE Stanford Dining focused on reducing food surplus by implementing 15 waste weighing machines that help quantify excess food, which allows chefs to make changes to ordering and production. Stanford Dining also led research across multiple universities on the impact of posters on the amount of food students take. 
  • R&DE Stanford Dining partnered with two dorms (Roble and the SLE program at Florence Moore) to pilot sustainable food themed education in the dorms as part of the residential education and community focus of the university. From garden work days to gleaning and jam-making classes with the Stanford Food Lab, the program offered a diverse learning and engagement curriculum, and will be expanded next year.