Institute for Engagement & Negotiation

Empowering communities to create shared solutions

Sustainable Food Strategy Task Force

 Photos courtesy of Stacey Evans (left) and Nina Morris (right).

The IEN is working with the Sustainable Food Strategy task force to implement the University of Virginia's Sustainable Food Action Plan (2016-2020) goals relating to food. Founded in 2017, the Task Force is chaired by Tanya Denckla Cobb, Director of IEN, and includes a broad array of representatives concerned and interested in food and its impacts: UVA Dining (Aramark), UVA Health Systems Dining (Morrison), Darden Dining (Compass), the Office for Sustainability, Environmental Resources, Morven Kitchen Garden, the Nitrogen Footprint project, Green Dining, Greens to Grounds, School of Medicine, the Department of Politics, and the UVA Food Collaborative. Meeting once a month, the task force has been developing strategies to develop and facilitate implementation of the five Sustainability Plan food goals, which are to: 

  1. Annually increase the percentage of sustainable foods and beverages available on grounds; 
  2. Reduce food waste and single-use servings sent to the landfill by 2030, in alignment with overall UVA waste goals;
  3. Reduce the water and energy impacts of dining operations;
  4. Increase students, staff and faculty awareness of sustainable food systems and seek to translate this heightened awareness into informed choices;
  5. Collaborate within UVA and with the region, bringing together faculty, staff, students, and diningoperations to advance sustainable food systems in the broader community.

As part of this effort, IEN coordinated for the task force a symposium, funded by the UVA Sustainability Committee, to explore Virginia University Collaboration for Sustainable Food Procurement. Held on December 8, 2017, this symposium brought together representatives from UVA dining services, the sustainability office, interested faculty and student organizations, will engage with their counterparts from other Virginia universities such as George Mason, James Madison and Virginia Tech. You can view the final report from the symposium here

Watch for more to come, as the food task force plans for more sustained actions to realize the university’s sustainability goals for food! The food task force works under the auspices of the Environmental Stewardship Subcommittee (ESS), a subcommittee of the University Committee on Sustainability. ESS promotes and enables environmental stewardship via student, staff, and faculty engagement and direct action on Grounds. There are currently 13 working groups and five task forces within the subcommittee.

  • FY 2017 SFSTF Annual Report
  • FY 2018 SFSTF Annual Report
  • FY 2019 SFSTF Annual Report
  • SFSTF Action Plan
  • 2017 Virginia Higher Education Sustainable Supply Chain Symposium Report
  • 2018 UVA Bicentennial Symposium “Our Evolving Food System: From Slavery to Sovereignty”

    Website with agenda, speakers, photos, transcripts


    Symposium Infographic

  • 2017 UVA Food Sustainability Survey Results: Report and “toplines