Commitment to Sustainability

As part of the College of the Holy Cross’ campuswide pledge to reduce carbon emissions and become carbon neutral by 2040, Holy Cross Dining has embarked on a number of initiatives to support this goal as well as increase its own commitments to sustainability and the Worcester community.

Plate of grilled chicken salad, ice water with lemon wedge, and a small bowl of fruit with a fork resting on it.

Sourcing Locally

Holy Cross Dining is committed to buying locally grown and manufactured products.  When a product cannot be sourced locally, Holy Cross Dining seeks to partner with manufacturers that have a commitment to sustainability. Hormone/antibiotic-free locally produced milk is served on campus.  Most coffee served on campus is either locally roasted, fair trade or shade-grown organic.

Waste Reduction

Following the success of a 2009 initiative to go “trayless” in the main dining room, which has saved more than one million gallons of water and greatly reduced general food waste, Holy Cross Dining put in place an initiative to eliminate all waste from Kimball Hall. 

Kimball Main Dining Hall recycles or composts 100% of all waste.  Any waste that cannot be recycled or composted is burned for energy. 

Holy Cross Dining’s Sustainability Efforts

  • Kimball Main Dining Hall is “trayless” which saves 900 gallons of water per day and has significantly reduced food waste
  • Kimball Main Dining Hall recycles or composts 100% of all waste. Any waste that cannot be recycled or composted is burned for energy
  • Kimball Dining Hall has eliminated all use of Styrofoam
  • Filtered water is available across campus as an alternative to bottled water
  • To promote the use of reusable beverage containers, discounts are given to customers who use reusable mugs
  • Cook-to-order in all Holy Cross Dining locations eliminates as much pre-consumer waste as possible
  • All cooking oil is recycled and turned into biofuel

In the Community

In keeping with the College’s Jesuit mission, Holy Cross Dining is committed to giving back to the Worcester community. Holy Cross Dining works closely with several organizations in the Worcester community providing food donations, access to and promotion of local produce, employment and fundraising opportunities.

For more than a decade, Holy Cross Dining has worked with the Worcester Regional Environmental Council, an organization working to build healthy and sustainable communities in our city through youth gardens, educational programs and farmers’ markets, to host and cater its annual Slow Food Gala. Holy Cross Dining works with the Worcester REC’s farming partners to create a menu that is entirely sourced from local farms and suppliers, including the Worcester REC’s own YouthGrow garden.

Holy Cross Dining also works with several local shelters and food pantries to coordinate can drives and food donations throughout the year. With the help of Holy Cross Dining, the College’s students donate to the Worcester County Food Bank each November. Additional donations are made throughout the year, including donation of baked goods from the College’s Sweet Shoppe to the Wellington House, an organization that provides access to low-income housing, for their annual children’s holiday party and donation of pies to Community Servings’ annual Pie in the Sky event. Additionally, Dining works with the Worcester Public Schools to serve a Thanksgiving dinner to Chandler Elementary School.  

Encouraged by the College’s relationship with Dismas House, a local organization whose mission is to reconcile former prisoners to society, Holy Cross Dining purchases organic fruits and vegetables from the organization’s Family Farm for use in their standard menu cycle.  

Holy Cross Dining’s commitment to the community, however, goes beyond donations and locally-sourced food. Holy Cross Dining works with Worcester’s Seven Hills Foundation to provide employment opportunities to special-needs adults in the Worcester area; participates in the Worcester Technical High School’s Cooperative Education program; and provides fundraising opportunities to local organizations who receive a percentage of sales in exchange for their working the College’s concession stands.