Inclusive Sustainability Plan 2020



Providing and promoting healthy eating options has a positive influence on the health and wellness of our students and the environment. Food insecurity can impact students’ academic success and simultaneously food waste is a major contributor to GHG emissions. By redirecting good food to students we can create a win-win situation. The food system is directly connected to water use, GHG emissions and human rights, by conscientiously choosing what food we purchase and eat, our impact can extend far beyond campus.


  • CSUMB Starbucks donated 8, 328 individual packaged items to students in the year 2019 and 285 Dining Commons meals were donated in Fall 2019.
  • Sustainable dairy purchasing is at 4%, as defined by STARS.
  • Food pantry received 1,037 unique visitors in 2019 and over 100 pounds of food were collected during Winter 2019 move-out and distributed in January to students.

Food on campus

Food is the reality of love and security. Food is not only a necessity of life, but also a social activity. Sharing food with people creates unbroken bonds, and everlasting friendships. Here at CSUMB, food is integrated in our everyday lives and our commitment to being sustainable. All dining services on campus compost and recycle, creating less waste that goes in landfills. Also, local food options are served when possible to benefit health, community, and the environment.

CSU Sustainability Policy Goals:

    • Create expanded sustainability commons and campus garden into a community garden, including aquaponics, to promote food cultivation and farm-to-table practices.
    • Continue the Farmer’s Market on campus and encourage the purchase of locally grown food within the campus community. Provide more information on vendors and opportunities to meet and learn about them. (EJ&I)
    • Identify and meet targeted percentage (by volume) of local food within each dining services location tailored to each unit’s program and offerings.
    • Increase education around the health, social justice and environmental benefits of sourcing food locally. (EJ&I)

    *Locally sourced means any fresh product being grown and sourced within 250 miles of CSUMB and processed produce be within California

  • Purchase 20% "sustainable" food by 2020 (local, organic, fair trade).
  • Create public awareness and training on sustainable food service operations for campus community.
  • Real Food Challenge Breakdown 2016
    Real Food A 2% | Real Food B 8% | Conventional Food 90%. The Real Food Challenge has four standards for food quality: Local and community based, fair, ecologically sound, and humane. The graph above shows the breakdown between Real Food A, Real Food B, and Conventional Food.Real Food A is a food that represents more than one of these standards. Real Food B represents at least one of these standards. Conventional food does not represent any of these standards.
    Real Food Challenge Breakdown 2014
    Real Food A <1% | Real Food B 2% | Conventional Food 80%. The Real Food Challenge has four standards for food quality: Local and community based, fair, ecologically sound, and humane. The graph above shows the breakdown between Real Food A, Real Food B, and Conventional Food.Real Food A is a food that represents more than one of these standards. Real Food B represents at least one of these standards. Conventional food does not represent any of these standards
    • Increase food collected and storage during move out for redistribution to students, staff or faculty in need and then to local organizations
    • Provide better access to off-campus grocery stores through multiple modes by coordinating shuttle trips once a week.
    • Work with campus partners to continue to find new viable products that fit within the scope of Fair Trade, Non-GMO and/or RainForest Certified each year that suits the operations of the unit,
    • Provide produce or products that may be gathered through field “gleening” programs or programs similar to “imperfect produce”. These could provide food at a lower cost, while reducing food waste.
    • Continue collection of metrics and reporting on food recovery to meet and support basic needs..
    • Partner with local agricultural businesses to advance conversations and highlight advancements on sustainable agriculture.
    • Host events, or partner with existing events, to connect and educate the campus community on the relationship between food and the people who harvest, process and transport food.
  • The 2013 Climate Action Plan established recommended “Action Steps” for each topic area. Below are the action steps for food:

    Foo1. Increase percentages of organic and/or local food. Consider partnering with local farms to directly source produce. Foo2. Reduce both pre- and post consumer food waste. Expand weigh your waste events for students, staff and faculty. Consider another pricing scheme other than all-you-can-eat. Foo3. Expand composting to all food serving venues. Foo4. Ensure all to-go containers are Eco Friendly. Consider reusable, compostable, or 100% recyclable to-go containers, and/or charge for them to discourage use. Eliminate single-use plastic bags.

    Foo5. Use Green Seal certified green cleaning products. Foo6. Explore innovative outreach options and partnerships. Discuss “edible landscaping” ideas with groundskeepers and student.s Offer more local organic Farmer’s Market sourced prepared dishes and produce for purchase. Strengthen connection with EDEN students garden club to expand food sourcing, garden dinners, composting and other aspects. Consider hosting healthy cooking classes with local organic seasonal ingredients. Foo7. Consider more diversity of food and food vendor options on campus. Explore independent ethnic food trucks approved by the health dept. Explore a new food model for the campus. Discuss RFP’s for independent restaurants. Consider a grocery store which features local, sustainable, organic, bulk, fresh, healthy snacks, and easy meals.

  • The goal of the Otter Snacks Map is to highlight locations on and near the CSUMB campus where students and other community members can access fresh fruits & vegetables. It was created to increase awareness and encourage healthy food choices by providing a quick reference of local resources. This map includes Farmer's Markets, Food Banks & Pantries, Grocery Stores, Local Markets, CSUMB Campus Food Resources, and WIC Locations.

    photo of the otter snacks map

    Farmers' Market

    MST Bus schedule

  • The Real Food Challenge leverages the power of youth and universities to create a healthy, fair and green food system.

    The primary campaign is to shift $1 billion of existing university food budgets away from industrial farms and junk food and towards local/community-based, fair, ecologically sound and humane food sources—what we call “real food”—by 2020.

    The Real Food Challenge also maintains a national network of student food activists—providing opportunities for networking, learning, and leadership development for thousands of emerging leaders.

    Real Food Challenge
    Real Food Calculator

    The Real Food Challenge Episodes:

    Episode 1: What is Real Food?

    Episode 2: What can we change?

    Episode 3: The future.

    • In a rush to get to class? Not a problem, grab it to go guilt-free! For a one-time fee of $5, the DC will give you a reusable container for your food. When you return it to be washed and sanitized you can either get a replacement container, or a gold card you can show to get your next container when you're ready.
    • If you eat at a table you will find that DC uses tableware made of biodegradable materials such as potatoes, crushed sugarcane stalks and corn. Reusable dishware is used in order to eliminate the volume of waste that comes from the use of disposable dishware.
    • Participate in Meatless Monday: Meatless Monday is global movement with a simple message: once a week, cut the meat.
    Submit your own tip
    The Reusable To-Go Container Program
    The Reusable To-Go Container