Skip directly to content

The Real Food Campus Commitment

By signing the Real Food Campus Commitment, colleges and universities pledge to buy at least 20% real food annually by 2020 and thereby use their tremendous purchasing power to support a healthy food system that strengthens local economies, respects human rights, ensures ecological sustainability, and facilitates community involvement and education.

UMass Amherst signed the Commitment in May 2013, committing 20% of their food purchasing to Real Food by 2020. The successful campaign was led by the UMass Student Food Advocacy Team, shown above.


There is a growing consensus on college campus’s on what makes food truly “good” along with efforts across the country to get more local, organic and sustainable food on college campuses. The Commitment knits together these separate efforts into a supportive, productive network to move forward together towards purchasing more real food.


By signing the Commitment administrators pledge to increase procurement of real food, increase institutional transparency and increase student and community engagement. 

To see a list of all of the signatory schools, click here.

To view the full text of the Commitment, click the image below. The first page is a standard document, and pages 3-4 are an implementation plan, written by students, administrators and other stakeholders at each institution.


(1) The Real Food Campus CommitmentThe full text document of the Commitment and Implementation Planning document. A digital form of the Implementation Planning document can be found here.

(2) The Case for the Real Food Campus CommitmentThe top reasons why your college administrators and food service providers should sign the Commitment. 

(3) Best Practices for Campus Food SystemsModel policy provisions that will help you design the specifics of your school’s real food policy.

(4) Multi-Year Action Plan TemplateA guide to help you take your goals and completed real food policy and translate them into a real plan.

(5) Progress Report TemplateA guide to help you report on your progress toward your real food goals

Oberlin joined the group of signatories in March 2013, committing 40% real food by 2020. Members of  student groups including Slow Food Oberlin, Oberlin Animal Rights, the Environmental Concerns Committee, and the Responsible Investing Organization came together to support the campaign.

UC Santa Cruz went above and beyond, signing the Commitment at 40% in February 2012. They celebrated the signing of the Commitment with a “Taste of Santa Cruz” fair featuring local farmers, producers and ally organizations in the region.

Warren Wilson College in Asheville, NC signed the Commitment in April, 2013 committing to 40% real food.


The following schools have signed the Real Food Campus Commitment, pledging to increase the procurement of real food, increase institutional transparency, and increase student and community food system engagement.

St. Mary's College (IN) – 20%
Drew University (NJ) – 20%
Western State College (CO) – 20%                        
University of California, Santa Cruz (CA) – 40%
University of Vermont (VT) – 20%
College of the Atlantic (ME) - 20%
Wesleyan University (CT) – 20%                                              
Macalester College (MN) – 30%
The Hotchkiss School (CT) – 20%
Oberlin College (OH) – 40%
Bard College (NY) – 30%
Warren Wilson College (NC) – 40%
Clark University (MA) – 20%
Univerity of Massachusetts - Amherst (MA) – 20%
Lyndon State College (VT) - 20%
Sterling College (VT) - 20% 
Cornell College (IA) – 20%
Johns Hopkins University (MD) - 35%
University of Montana - Missoula (MT) - 20%
Fort Lewis College (CO) - 20%
Marlboro College (VT) - 20%
Stonehill College (MA) - 20%
The George Washington University (DC) - 20%
The Colorado Mountain College (CO) - 20%
Gonzaga University (WA) - 25%
The University of Denver (CO) - 20%
Occidental College (CA) - 30%
Middlebury College (VT) - 30%
McDaniel College (MD) - 20%
The University of Utah (UT) - 20%
University of Pittsburgh (PA) - 20%
The Evergreen State College (WA) - 28%
The University of Oklahoma (OK) - 20%
Siena College (NY) - 20%
Northwestern University (IL) - 20%
Case Western Reserve University (OH) - 30%
Western Washington University (WA) - 25% 
Haverford College (PA) - 20%
University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill (NC) - 20% 
Florida Gulf Coast University (FL) - 20% 


Leaders from across the real food, fair trade, labor justice, and environmental movements have endorsed the Real Food Campus Commitment and declared their belief that all schools should formally commit to real food. See what they have to say!



“The GET REAL! Campaign is a brilliant and long overdue effort. Count us in!” - Oran Hesterman


"There's a lot of talk about getting real food on college campuses – it's time that schools start backing up their talk with specific commitments to take action and begin moving their purchasing dollars." - Yoni Landau



•   California Climate and Agriculture Network
•   Community Alliance for Global Justice
•   Cooperative Food Empowerment Directive (CoFed)
•   CS Mott Group for Sustainable Food Systems
•   Equal Exchange
•   Fair Food Network
•   Green America
•   Greenhorns
•   Humane Society of the United States
•   Johnson County Local Food Alliance (Iowa City, IA)
•   Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Working Group (NESAWG)
•   Northwest Agriculture Business Center
•   Red Tomato
•   Roots of Change 
•   Sierra Student Coalition
•   Student/Farmworker Alliance 
•   UNITE Here! 
•   Vermont Secretary of Agriculture Chuck Ross 

Want your organization to endorse the Commitment? Download the endorsement document and send the completed form to or 30 Bow St., Cambridge, MA 02138.