When it signed the Real Food Campus Commitment in 2013, UMass Amherst became one of the largest schools in the country to commit to sourcing 20% “Real Food” by the year 2020. Real food is defined as food that is local, fair, ecologically sound, and humanely-raised. UMass Amherst’s efforts toward the Real Food Challenge couple Real Food procurement with other activities, including an audit of dining services to promote transparency and to track changes in purchasing over time.
Students are engaging UMass dining, faculty, staff, and community members in developing a food policy and multi-year action plan for UMass Amherst. And they are working with partners along the supply chain, from local farmers to local fishermen. These efforts are leveraging institutional purchasing power to enact positive food systems change in the state and region.