Real Local RVA’s August Meeting
UVA’s Sustainable Food Strategy Task Force
with Dr. Kristina Weaver
In August we welcomed Dr. Kristina Weaver, Associate Director of the Institute for Environmental Negotiation at UVA. Dr. Weaver provided an overview of the work of the Sustainable Food Strategy Task Force by walking us through their brand new Annual Report. The Task Force was created in 2016, and meet on a monthly basis to work through the tough challenges of sustainability at a larger institution.
The Task Force has the full support of the university, which Dr. Weaver explained is a big part of their success. Many different entities are represented on the Task Force including: UVA Dining (Aramark), UVA Health System Dining (Morrison), Darden Dining (Compass), The Office for Sustainability, The Morven Kitchen Garden, the Nitrogen Footprint Project, Greens to Grounds, the School of Medicine, the Department of Politics, UVA Nursing, UVA Food Collaborative, and the Institute for Environmental Negotiation. Wow, what a powerhouse group of people.
We learned about some very specific actions taken by the task force to accomplish their 5 goals which are:
- Annually increase the percentage of sustainable foods and beverages available on grounds;
- Reduce food waste and single-use servings sent to the landfill by 2030, in alignment with overall UVA waste goals;
- Reduce the water and energy impacts of dining operations;
- Increase students, staff and faculty awareness of sustainable food systems and seek to translate this heightened awareness into informed choices;
- Collaborate within UVA and with the region, bringing together faculty, staff, students, and dining operations to advance sustainable food systems in the broader community.
One of the most important aspects of the work is the inclusion and education of the students. It was amazing to hear how much the students are also invested in this process.
Many thanks to Dr. Weaver for taking the time to tell UVA’s Sustainability story. Thanks to our hosts at St. Stephen’s, to Dreaming Tree Farms and Blanchard’s Coffee for the delicious food and drink, and to all who joined us.