UM Dining Wins NACUFS Grand Prize for Sustainability

UM Dining’s commitment to limiting our impact on the environment earned national recognition at the 2014 National Association of College and University Food Services Conference.  Our efforts were honored with the 2014 Grand Prize for Sustainability.  Each year, the NACUFS sustainability awards recognize member institutions that demonstrate outstanding leadership in the promotion and implementation of environmental sustainability – specifically as it relates to campus dining operations.

The NACUFS Sustainability Awards support the globally accepted triple bottom line philosophy, also known as “people, planet, profit,” a method of evaluating operational performance by measuring social responsibility, environmental impact and financial success.

“The grand prize acknowledges UM Dining as the best model of collegiate sustainability programs this year,” said Mark LoParco, director of UM Dining. “We will continue to provide UM students, faculty and staff, as well as local, regional and state organizations, access to our learning laboratory of sustainable business practices.”


The UM Dining Garden regularly gives tours of the garden and conducts educations sessions on the practices used in the organic garden.

In April 2014, UM Dining was awarded the NACUFS Gold Award in the Outreach and Education category. On July 10, during the association’s national conference in Baltimore, a team of collegiate dining professionals, including food service directors and sustainability professionals, selected UM Dining from among the individual category Gold Award winners as the grand prize winner.


Members of UM School of Life Long Learning Program take a closer look at the strawberry patch in the UM Dining Garden.

The Grand Prize recognizes exemplary excellence in the pursuit of a sustainable dining practice, resulting in a significantly reduced environmental impact and providing a best-practice model for the NACUFS membership. UM Dining’s commitment to sustainability includes our Farm to College Program, the UM Dining Garden, as well as several other sustainability initiatives.


UM Dining Garden Manager Natasha Hegmann speaks with participants of the UM School of Life Long Learning Program.

NACUFS also will present UM Dining with the gift of a living tree indigenous to Montana