With its commitment to using locally grown ingredients to create a wide array of palate-pleasing dinner options, it's no surprise that colleges that partner with Bon Appétit are regularly at the top of The Princeton Review’s Best Campus Food rankings.

But as good as dishes like short ribs and barbecued mashed potatoes taste, that is only part of the reason Bon Appétit is such a good fit at Stonehill.

The catering company also shares the sustainability values at the heart of Stonehill’s culture. It can be seen in its Farm-to-Fork local farms initiative, low-waste initiative and support of food practices that combat climate change.

Bon Appétit’s holistic approach to food has been recognized by both national news outlets and industry organizations. Among recent headlines:

“Young people today care about what we put into our bodies, they care about more plant-based foods, they care about the farmers (and) they care about animal welfare,” said Bon Appétit Founder and CEO Fedele Bauccio, speaking in Georgia at a summit on the National Strategy on Hunger, Nutrition and Health. “What we need to do is to be able to source food (locally) — flavorful food that’s healthy and economically viable for all. Our chefs go into the fields and work with farmers and source from them.”

It is a commitment that aligns with Stonehill values, especially at The Farm at Stonehill. Environmental science major Hannah DiVittorio ’23, who did independent research on pollinators at The Farm, said her experience was about more than the science.

“One of the things I’ve learned at The Farm is to not take things for granted and recognize where my food is coming from and recognize that this is where food should be coming from,” said DiVittorio, a resident of Hopedale, Massachusetts, who attended Hopedale Junior Senior High School. “A lot of people don’t have access to this kind of food, and it’s important for me to recognize the (impact) of food insecurity and how we can help those in need.” 

Laurie Mooney is the director of the Farm at Stonehill.

Professor Laurie Mooney, The Farm’s manager, is particularly focused on food waste and closing loops in our campus community food system.

“This begins by enhancing our local food network by supporting The Farm at Stonehill and our local food producers,” said Mooney, “as well as by recovering food waste from all dining locations for use as a farm resource to build healthy soil, reduce our trash and address climate change.”

In addition to reducing waste, Bon Appétit also supports campus initiatives focused on the issue of food security, which impacts a wide range of groups, from under-resourced communities to college students. This is an issue with which students are well versed, said Mooney. Addressing it serves the College’s goal of developing compassionate leaders.

“Part of our Stonehill mission that The Farm carries out in such a beautiful way is that students are getting firsthand experience not only around harvesting and processing these vegetables but (also) tangibly working on food insecurity,” she said. “We’re bringing better access to nutrition for those that are in need in our communities. The lesson of all this and what is truly at the heart of the matter is that students are gaining knowledge. They’re gaining confidence. They become leaders; they have a voice.” 

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