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How Bon Appétit Management Company defines “food service for a sustainable future,” that tagline that follows our company name, also defines our very identity as a company. In honor of our quarter-century anniversary, we asked our employees and others to brainstorm with us. Here’s the result.

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Bon Appétit Sous Chef Shirelle Boyd from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, OH, recently launched a garden project with nearby Monticello Middle School, which she had “adopted” through the First Lady’s Chefs Move to Schools program.

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I had a wonderful time in sunny California where I visited Whittier College in honor of Food Day, an annual nationwide celebration of healthy, affordable, and sustainable food. My visit kicked off with a luncheon with landscape architect Glen Dake. Glen gave a presentation on how to build landscapes that volunteers both love and are capable of managing. The room was full of students from Whittier’s Urban Agriculture Club that were interested in learning techniques to get volunteers engaged with gardening. The presentation covered everything from how to make weeding assignments glamorous, to what plants can survive without much effort.

As Hurricane Sandy barreled toward the coast, businesses and entire cities shut down to brace themselves for what was to come. But college dining halls don’t have that luxury. College students are already “at home,” and – no matter the weather — need to be fed. And local farmers and fishermen need to be able to sell their harvest.

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Students at the University of Redlands spend a week each semester to host fun activities that raise environmental awareness and inspire action on campus. The most recent Green Week coincided with Food Day so Bon Appétit was invited to co-host an event with a coalition of environmental organizations that focused on waste and the food system. Students and staff strung 1,050 disposable to-go boxes around Hunsaker Plaza to show people how much ends up in the landfill every day on campus and the students asked people to pledge to only use to-go boxes when actually on the go.

The idea for the event was conceived when students learned that on average 5,250 disposable to-go boxes end up in the landfill each week and approximately $25,000 is spent on those boxes each semester!