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Food and Agriculture Efforts

Frank Dining Hall occasionally features locally grown produce such as these apples.

Pomona College Organic Farm features 2.5 acres of organic garden with fruits, vegetables, herbs, and more.

Current Programs

Please stay tuned for more updates from dining, as part of our transition to self-operated dining facilities! In the meantime, see more at the Dining Services webpage.

  • Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification In November 2013, Pomona renewed its MSC Chain-of-Custody certification, first received in June 2011 as the first liberal arts college to be thus certified. In 2013-14, around 25% of seafood used was MSC certified or recommended by the Seafood Watch Guide. 
  • Preserve recycled diningware Dining Services has started using Preserve diningware in all dining halls. Preserve products are made from 100% recycled plastic and can be recycled after use. 
  • Fair trade/organic beverages Most coffee, tea, and chai served in the dining halls is certified Fair Trade and certified Organic.
  • Cage-free eggs and humanely raised meat Dining Services uses mostly cage-free eggs in all campus dining halls. Some beef and chicken served at the grill comes from family-owned, responsibly-managed farms, which use vegetarian feed, do not use hormones or antibiotics, and allow animals to roam.  
  • Local Food The dining halls offer some local and/or organic hand fruit (bananas, apples, oranges, etc.) in all dining halls. 58% of produce served at the dining halls is from farms within 250 miles of Pomona!
  • Trayless dining Dining Services does not use trays in the dining area, which reduces food waste by an estimated 10%.  
  • Composting All preproduction vegan food scraps and some post-production food scraps are composted at the Pomona Farm. Diners can compost vegan food scraps at bins near the tray returns. Each week over 1.5 tons of food waste is composted.
  • Reusable takeout containers and mugs Upon arriving at Pomona, each student is issued a reusable green clamshell container and mug that can be used to eat meals and take beverages outside of the dining halls.  These containers cut down on the waste associated with using disposable containers. 
  • Food Rescue Pomona’s Food Rescue Group gathers leftover prepared food from Frary and Frank Dining Halls everyday to donate to local shelters and charitable organizations. This reduces Pomona’s food waste while redirecting the food to those who need it.
  • The Organic Farm Students and the full-time Farm Manager maintain this 2.5-acre organic garden on campus. For the past 10 or so years, the Farm has consisted of hundreds of varieties of fruits, vegetables, and herbs throughout the year, which are sold at a biweekly Farm Stand. The Farm is also used for academic purposes, such as the Food, Land, and the Environment course in the Environmental Analysis Program. The Farm also has a small flock of chickens used for pest and weed management.
  • The Food Committee The Associated Students of Pomona College has a Food Committee, chaired by the North and South Campus Representatives and including the Environmental Affairs Commissioner, the Director of the Sustainability Integration Office, students, and staff, including the General Manager of Dining Services. This Committee deals with a variety of sustainability-related issues, such as local and organic foods in the dining halls.
  • Edible landscaping Current and future landscaping designs are taking into consideration edible plants and trees while choosing plant palates. This map [pdf] displays current edible landscaping at the 5cs.

Progress toward goals for 2020

The following table includes relevant objectives from the College's Sustainability Action Plan.

How we're doing - 2020 Goals
Data point11-1212-1313-142020 Objective
% food purchases “sustainable”* 17% 29% 25% 15% by 2015
30% by 2020
% food purchases “sustainable” in  more than one category* 2% 4% 7% 10%
% produce local* 32% 44% 58% 60%
% sustainable seafood purchases* 21% 39% 25% 100% by 2015
Programs in place in other campus dining facilities ASPC survey
about food
No Some organic and/or
Fair Trade products
in the Coop Store