AMHERST, Mass. – It was a “green sweep,” so to speak, as University of Massachusetts Amherst Dining Services and the campus permaculture project won the grand prize for sustainability and the top award for Outreach and Education at the national conference of the National Association of College & University Food Services last week in Boston.
Matthew Biette, director of dining services at Middlebury College and chair of the NACUFS Sustainability Awards committee, said that the UMass Amherst Dining Services sustainability program is “well known, involved just about everyone and best off, had the numbers to prove it. We could see analysis, costs and outcomes that really made the case.”
“The process of selecting a winner for the sustainability awards was long and involved. We found winners in all categories and compared them with each other,” Biette told Ken Toong, executive director of Auxiliary Enterprises at UMass Amherst. “Your entry under the Outreach and Education category touched all the bases. You included your local community of the University but extended to the greater local community within Amherst and the Pioneer Valley. You touched ages from the very young to the very not so young!”
Toong said that credit for the award also goes to Ryan Harb and his campus permaculture committee as well as students, faculty, staff and administrators who have supported the program from the beginning.
“We are deeply honored to be recognized by NACUFS and peers in its inaugural presentation as the ‘best of the best’ in the Sustainability Awards category,” said Toong. “There are so many great efforts among colleges and universities to make our world a better place. I think the best is yet to come.”