Clark Dining Services proudly adopts Freight Farms to add to its sustainability initiatives. The Leafy Green Machine is a fully functional hydroponic farm built inside an up-cycled shipping container & configured for the immediate growth of a variety of leafy crops. With its innovative climate technology & growing equipment, the optimum growing condition is achieved 365 days a year irrespective of outside weather. The produce from the Leafy Green Machine is seamlessly integrated into current operations & used at various campus dining locations. 

Freight Farms was developed and incubated at Clark University by Brad McNamara who is a Clark Alumni, and is headquartered at Boston.

Clark Dining Services is always looking for initiatives to increase the sustainable footprint. The tower garden that was introduced by Clark Dining Services in  September 2015, provided the opportunity for us to work closely with the Clark Sustainability team and the student body. The tower garden allows Clark Dining Services to grow herbs and leafy vegetables in a limited space and provide students with produce that are home grown. A dedicated Clark Dining employee works closely with a student in monitoring the water and minerals that the plants needs to grow. As a result of the success of Clark Dining’s tower garden, we managed to offer a deli sandwich on November 6th that used lettuce from the tower garden. The sandwiches served in this station on that particular day only used the produce from our tower garden.

Clark Dining Services is pleased to announce our renewed partnership with Freshpoint of Connecticut.  Freshpoint is well known for it's commitment to sustainability, in particular sourcing from local and regional farmers. Keep posted for dates to join our Dining Services Green Team on scheduled farm tours of the Connecticut River Valley. Participants will get a chance to see where our local produce comes from and the farmers who grow it!

Get To Know The Farmers. Click the farm names below to read information on just a couple of the farms we purchase from.  Some of these farmers will be on our farm tour stops this fall.

President Angel, Business Manager Paul Wykes, and Clark Dining Services (Sodexo) Director Heather Vaillette signed the Real Food Challenge in 2013, committing Clark Dining to serve 20% 'real' food as measured by expenses by 2020. The commitment was the result of many years effort by a strong group of students, Food Truth. In addition to the Real Food pledge, a Food Systems Working Group under the aegis of the Sustainability Task Force, will work to set food policy for the University. 'Real' is defined by a predetermined calculator organized by the national Real Food movement. As of the most recent data analysis, Clark is at 12%.

The Real Food Challenge is a national movement that works with over 300 colleges and universities across the U. S. to shift $1 billion (20%) of current school food budgets to Real Food sources. The Food Systems Working Group (FSWG) – comprised of students, faculty and staff – is working to shift the products Clark purchases to more Local, Ecologically-Sound, Fair, and Humane sources.

Higgins Cafe and Bistro both serves Fair Trade and Organic coffee choices for its guests. The coffee served at Jazzman's is only sustainably sourced, from its ten Signature blends to the unique single-origin beans that compose Jazzman’s Noteworthy Coffees™ series, sourced directly from individual farming cooperatives and community growers around the world. All roasted exclusively for Jazzman’s.

Our New England location means access to some of the freshest, most delicious and responsibly sourced fish and seafood possible. Our seafood partner Red's Best™ of Boston is committed to only distributing from small, local fishing boats supporting a vital fishing industry and tradition. Much of Clark Dining Services fish is caught just miles from our campus. And with access to over 60 different species daily, we have fully integrated Red's Best™ into our dining program year round serving Red's Best™ regularly. Additionally, Red's Best™ has implemented a simple yet brilliant QR code technology allowing the consumer to know what fish they are eating but who the actual fisherman was who caught their dinner! Learn more about Red's Best™ in Edible Boston and National Geographic.

Already providing sustainable cardboard and corn-ware take out containers, Dining Services has gone further with Green2Go No more waste from take-out containers! For only $5, you are provided with a large, reusable container for take out food. Bring the container back and exchange it for a clean one, filled with your favorite take-out! Dining Services will clean and exchange the Green2Go. (Faculty and staff can also take advantage of Green2Go at the Higgins and Bistro cafes). Lean Path, a revolutionary software program to monitor pre-consumer food waste in the preparation of cafeteria food, has been operational since 2013. In the first year with Lean Path, Clark Dining Services kitchen managed to reduce waste by almost 6 tons!

At Clark Dining Services, we track and reduce waste behind the scenes. LeanPath is a process where our team weigh waste created while prepping food. Over the last year, Clark Dining Services managed to reduce 60% of pre-consumer food waste through the LeanPath program. 

The Environmental Protection Agency has awarded Clark a coveted National Achievement Award in 2013's Food Recovery Challenge, one of only 9 such awards across the entire US! The Food Recovery Challenge measures efforts to reduce and manage food waste from dining and other functions. Clark Dining contributed for this challenge by composting all food waste from the Higgins Cafeteria.

Clark Dining Services by Sodexo is fully committed to sustainable purchasing as a leader in the cage-free movement.  We are proud to serve 100% cage free shell eggs and liquid eggs in Higgins Cafe & The Bistro.   Beginning in 2007, Clark University began purchasing cage free shell eggs shortly.  As part of our commitment to sustainable purchasing we successfully worked with Sysco to special order this product which was not an item readily available at the time.  Other universities also began purchasing the product allowing Sysco, our distribution partner to make it available in daily stock inventory. This was a huge beginning step as it not only provided Clark University easily available cage-free shell eggs but other Sodexo and non-Sodexo contracted universities, as well as restaurants the option to go cage-free.   We continued to work toward going 100% cage-free by purchasing cage free liquid eggs, used for omelets, scrambled eggs, etc., shortly thereafter.  Although cage free eggs have a significant cost difference than traditional eggs, we are firm with our commitment to support this cause.

  • 90% of our to-go containers at Bistro are compostable
  • All paper-ware and drink-ware at Bistro and Jazzman's are biodegradable
  • Source produce from local and regional farms as much as possible
  • Milk is sourced from local dairies that do not treat their cows with artificial hormones
  • Current recyclables include cardboard, paper, plastic and cans
  • Napkin and flatware dispensers helps the campus reduce excess waste
  • All utensils served at Bistro and Jazzman’s are compostable