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March 13, 2006

Smith Dining Services Expands Ties with Local Farmers

NORTHAMPTON, Mass.—Smith College Dining Services recently initiated an effort to increase its use of food from the local area in support of a more sustainable community.

Smith’s food service director, along with those from the other area colleges, will meet with local growers this month to discuss the distribution, volume and seasonal availability of products from within the Pioneer Valley. The meeting follows another that kicked off the discussion about collaborations and was held at Smith in January with 55 area farmers and business owners.

By the start of the next academic year, Smith College Dining Services plans to have local suppliers for eggs and honey and increase its volume of local produce purchases. 

This effort aims to expand Smith’s use of local products in the student dining rooms and other campus eateries. The college’s oldest connection with a local supplier is its relationship with Outlook Farms in Westhampton, Mass., which has supplied apples since 1945.  More recent connections include the purchase of Fair Trade/Organic coffee from Indigo Coffee Roasters in Florence, Mass., and dairy products from High Lawn Dairy in Lee, Mass.  In addition, Smith’s Vermont-based produce company, Black River, often supplies locally-grown products.

The initiative also fits into the broader work of the Green Team, a coalition of Smith faculty, staff and students dedicated to fostering sustainability at Smith.  The Green Team’s work encompasses many aspects of campus life, including transportation, materials use, purchasing, waste management, construction and energy use.

Office of College Relations
Smith College
Garrison Hall
Northampton, Massachusetts 01063

Kristen Cole
Media Relations Director
T (413) 585-2190
F (413) 585-2174

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