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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 2019-20 Sustainability Year in Review for more detailed information on yearly performance.

  • R&DE Stanford Dining coordinated orders to source local produce for their eight dining halls. The program supports organic, local, family owned farms, and reduces the university’s carbon footprint by reducing the amount of transportation required for its goods and service. 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 million meals in their lifetime. 
  • R&DE Stanford Dining focused on reducing food insecurity, and in collaboration with the Graduate Student Council, ASSU and the Stanford Solidarity Network in 2019, in 2019 they launched a pilot pop-up food pantry program for undergraduate and graduate students and their affiliates who self-identify as food insecure. Through its partnership with Second Harvest of Silicon Valley, R&DE has distributed over 100,000 pounds of food to the Stanford community since the program’s inception.
  • In support of the university's zero waste goals, in 2020, R&DE’s Roble Hall became the first on campus to remove its landfill dumpster. The initiative illustrated the psychological effects of waste and behavior change. With waste sorting education, Roble residents were able to minimize their waste to only four landfill carts. More than 70 waste audits of the enclosure between September 2019 and March 2020, showed that the project reduced Roble’s landfill capacity by 83%, or by 40 cubic yards a month.
  • This year, R&DE opened the largest residential project in the Bay Area with enough beds to house 2,400 students. The four, 10 story buildings have a four stream waste chute to promote waste sorting, and students receive free composting buckets and compostable bags year round. There is specific collection for e-waste and to compost pizza boxes on the ground floors. Students have access to free green cleaning solution and laundry detergent in their laundry rooms, naturally made ozone, that safely converts back to drinkable water after 7 days. An advanced lighting system controls lights in all common areas so hallways, huddle rooms and lounges are only fully lit when students move through them.