Food & Dining Services

Food is one of the areas where the importance of sustainability’s triple bottom line is most clear. Sustainable food systems have far-reaching impacts for environments, economies and communities. The production of food has implications for land use, water quality, worker health and producer livelihoods. The preparation, transportation and distribution of food has implications for resource use, human health and hunger. As an institution of higher education, we recognize the centrality of food and eating to campus operations and the lives of the UK community. We strive to promote ecological sustainability by emphasizing efficient operations, waste reduction and environmental stewardship in our procurement choices. We bring attention to economic sustainability through a focus on locally and fairly sourced products. We focus on community sustainability by prioritizing efforts to track and reduce food insecurity.


UK Dining

UK Dining is committed to making environmentally responsible decisions throughout their operations in order to minimize their footprint while providing high quality food and service. Working in partnership with students, suppliers and other campus partners these efforts include local purchasing targets, waste reduction, food recovery and more. UK Dining is operated by our partner, Aramark. 


The Food Connection at UK

The University of Kentucky Food Connection serves farmers, food producers, students, and consumers by developing solutions and creative strategies for a vibrant, healthy, sustainable food economy in Kentucky.  

The Food Connection supports our land-grant mission through three key areas of work: interdisciplinary and innovative instruction, high-impact service and outreach, and cutting edge research on foods and food systems.  Their work aims to enhance student experience through enhancing the on-campus dining experience, and through enriched learning environments that set students well along their professional pathways within food systems and beyond.


The Shawneetown Student Garden

This project began as a student initiative in 2009 and has grown from a space for 20 residents to nearly 90 plots. But more than that, thanks to a UK Sustainability Challenge Grant, it has transformed into a sustainable community garden, generating physical, ecological and socio-cultural sustainability. Plots are available for $25 per year to students living in the Shawneetown and Greg Page apartments.


The Campus Kitchens

The Campus Kitchen at the University of Kentucky (CKUK) is an on-campus student service organization that was established in April, 2014 with faculty support from the Department of Dietetics & Human Nutrition. CKUK is an affiliate of the national The Campus Kitchens Project (CKP), which provides a sustainable approach to reducing food waste on college campuses while also providing healthy meals to those struggling with hunger. Sign up online to volunteer.  Questions? Contact


Big Blue Pantry

The Big Blue Pantry serves University of Kentucky students who are experiencing food insecurity or hunger. Any UK student, with a valid UK ID is eligible to receive non-perishable goods from the Big Blue Pantry by coming to White Hall 23-25 during our open hours.Big Blue Pantry Suggested Donations List. Questions? Contact


In 2015, UK received a sliver rating from the AASHE STARS system. Below are the credits and our scores relative to campus dining and food. 

OP-6: Food and Beverage Purchasing 0.46/4.00

OP-7: Low Impact Dining 1.00/3.00

IN-2: Innovation  1.00/1.00