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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 2018-19 Sustainability Year in Review for more detailed information on yearly performance.

  • R&DE Stanford Dining coordinated weekly orders to source local produce for their eight dining halls as part of their Deliciously Imperfect program. The program supports organic, local, family owned farms, and reduces the university’s carbon footprint by diverting perfectly good and delicious, but blemished fruits and vegetables from going into the compost. R&DE also worked with the O’Donohue Family Stanford Educational Farm to use their organically grown, hyper-local produce in the dining halls.
  • Stanford continued its leadership in the Menus of Change University Research Collaborative (MCURC), a network of colleges and universities in the US, UK, and Asia, plus ex-officio members such as Google, and research collaborators such as the World Resources Institute and 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 focused on education related to sustainability and research around reducing students’ food waste and launched a student Fellows program.
  • R&DE Stanford Dining expanded its support of the academic mission through guest lectures in courses, support of class projects, theses, and capstone projects, and the launch of two new academic courses. Earth Systems 119: Will Work For Food: Designing Your Pathway to Impact in the Food System was a year-long paced learning course taught with the FEED Collaborative. Human Biology 14: Connections Between Food and the Environment was taught with Professor Christopher Gardner as part of a Menus of Change University Research Collaborative project where the class was taught at three universities in California simultaneously.
  • 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 Ng, to bring sustainable food themed education into the dorms as part of the residential education and community focus of the university. From garden workdays to gleaning and jam-making classes with the Stanford Food Lab, the program offered a diverse learning and engagement curriculum. In Ng House, a one-credit gardening themed class was offered with the Resident Fellow Elaine Treharne.