The Sterling Kitchen
Feeding Our Community
Food is central to life at Sterling College. Not only does it feed our community, it’s also part of our curriculum and our commitment to sustainability. Sterling College manages its own food system from seed to compost.
Dunbar Dining Hall will be open for meal pick-up for students and employees. Residential students can eat meals in their pod’s residential hall or outside with pod-mates. Commuter students can eat their meals in the Student Center, outside in the fresh air, or in their classroom, six feet apart or more from others. Employees can eat meals in their office. Due to the multi-household gathering ban, meals can not be shared with others outside an individual’s household unit.
In addition to the established meal plan, residential students will receive weekly delivery of snacks and basics. If quarantining, Vermont campus residential students will have their meals delivered three times a day (twice on weekends) to their Living & Learning Pods (LLPs) from the Sterling Kitchen.
Each LLP is set up with cutlery, plates, glassware, and space provided for serving and table and chairs for dining. Clear guidelines for students and staff will be established for cleaning, disposal, recycling, and composting. Each pod will need to communicate directly and clearly with the kitchen should any issue arise, or if any item is needed.
The kitchen itself has been revamped and staffed to ensure strict pandemic-specific food safety guidelines. Whether we’re eating it, cooking it, planting it, or studying it, we constantly look for ways to make our campus food system greener, better, smarter, and, of course, tastier.
Sterling College has the country’s top college food system according to The Real Food Challenge, a nationwide initiative to make campus food more local, healthful, and sustainable.
We grow 30 percent of our own food using no pesticides or chemical fertilizers.
Sterling College sources 54% of our food locally, either from large farms within a 150-mile radius or from small farms within 250 miles.
Rian Fried Center
for Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems
Sterling’s Rian Fried Center for Sustainable Agriculture & Food Systems serves as a locus for programs and national discussions about sustainable farming and food in America. The center has more than 130 acres of farm and gardens, an edible forest garden, the Alfond Draft Horse Barn, hoop houses, and a sugarhouse and sugarbush for maple syrup production.
Our Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems majors are offered through the Rian Fried Center.
When you fill your plate at Sterling College, you won’t be greeted with the same-old, same-old. For each 5-week academic block, the kitchen will design a new menu, keeping in mind the seasonal and local availability of ingredients. This approach to menu design is the most sustainable way to support local economies and decrease our carbon “foodprint” when sourcing and ordering products.
Are you vegan? Paleo? Gluten-free? Dairy-intolerant?
Food inclusivity is a passion at Sterling. The Sterling Kitchen works to accommodate the dietary needs and preferences for all community members. We view this as a challenge and a joy, because we want everyone in our community to be happy and well nourished. We encourage all students to fill out our Dietary Preferences form to ensure that their individual nutritional requirements are met.
Meals During COVID
Will there be options for me to choose from for my meals?
We encourage all students to update their dietary preferences, so that Chef Liz and the crew can make meal plans that account for the dietary preferences of all students.
Will commuter students have access to a lunch meal plan?
Yes, commuter students are able to purchase a meal plan that will include lunch & snacks as a grab-and-go option.
I have changes to my dietary restrictions, who do I tell?
Let us know here. If you have any further questions, please contact Chef Liz Chadwick at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I am a residential student and would like to opt out of the meal plan, can I do that?
Students are only able to opt out of the meal plan if they provide a written letter from a healthcare provider stating the individual’s dietary needs are unable to be met by campus services. As a small institution, our campus services depend on the support of all students.