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Report Card 2010

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University of Southern California

Dining Survey

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With the publication of the College Sustainability Report Card 2010, more than 1,100 school survey responses from over 300 institutions are now available online. In total, these surveys offer more than 10,000 pages of data collected from colleges and universities during the summer of 2009 . To access surveys from other schools, go to the  surveys section  of the website. To see grades, or to access additional surveys submitted by this school, please click the "Back to Report Card" link at the beginning or end of the survey.




Date survey submitted:


1) Total annual food budget: [$ Unknown]



Note: Geographic location and seasonal availability are taken into account in assessing your response. "Local" is defined as within 150 miles of your campus .

 2) Do you have any formal policies pertaining to local purchases?

 [x]  Yes. Please describe and provide URL, if available:

 Within our central purchasing department we have a formal goal of securing 15% of our goods from “Diverse Suppliers”. One of the specific points of this program is to “Target small businesses located near USC” ( http://fbs.usc.edu/depts/diversity/page/1533/services-for-diverse-suppliers/ ).


Questions 3-5 pertain to locally grown purchases.

  3) From how many local forms or growers do you purchase (excluding on-campus farms/gardens)?

USC purchases from several direct growers throughout the year. We’ve listed some of them below, but the amount varies based on availability and demand.

[ NA]  Number from which you purchase directly.

·         Nojoqui Creek Farms

·         Harry’s Berries

·         Organic Growers: Beer Valley Creek

·         Pudwill Farms

·         Wong Farms

·         Tutti Fruitt Farms

·         Jaime Farms

·         Rising C Ranch

·         Organic Farm

[ NA]  Number from which you purchase through a distributor. Please specify name and location of distributor:

  • LA Specialty Produce  Vernon CA
  • Fresh-point Produce Los Angeles, CA
  • Albert Organics  Vernon CA


4) How much do you spend annually on purchasing food that was grown or raised locally?

[$ 175,000 ]


5) Please list foods you purchase that are grown or raised locally (e.g., fresh fruits, vegetables, meat, milk, fish, honey, maple syrup; foods that are processed locally should be listed in question 8):

Listed below are a few of the products we purchases throughout the year:

1.     Apple Fuji Local/Sust

2.     Berry Farmers Mkt Mix

3.     Orange Blood Tarocco

4.     Spinach Baby Arrowhead

5.     Strawberry Gaviota

6.     Strawberry Seascape

7.     Pear

8.     Raisins

9.     Carrot Baby Mix (Orange, White, Red)

10.    Tangerine Pixie

11.    Tomatoes Cherry

12.    Avocado, Hass

13.    Broccoli Crowns

14.    Carrot, Baby Mix Color

15.    Breads, Regular & Artisan

16.    Cucumber, Persian

17.    Spinach, Baby Arrowhead

18.    Spring Mix

19.    Tomato, 20.       Tomato, Yellow

21.    Zucchini

22.    Honey ( plain)

23.    Honey ( mixed berries)

24.    Whole Milk

25.    Non Fat Milk

26.    2% Milk

27.    Half & Half

28.    Skim Milk 29.     


Questions 6-8 pertain to locally produced and/or processed items.

 6) From how many local processors do you purchase?

[ NA  ]  Number from which you purchase directly.

Listed below are a few of the processors used.

·         American Fish Company, Los Angeles, CA

·         Alta Dena, Wholesale Dairy, Los Angeles, CA

Number from which you purchase through a distributor.  Please specify name and location of distributor:

·         Sysco Foods, CA :

·         Zacky Farms, San Joaquin Valley


7) How much do you spend annually on purchasing food that was processed locally?

[$ 885,000]


8) Please list items you purchase that are processed locally (e.g., bread, granola, ice cream, baked goods, yogurt, cheese):  

Companies we purchase from:

Melrose Baking Company  Los Angeles, CA

La Brea Bakery  Commerce, CA

Brroklyn Bagel, Los Angeles, CA

Freund Bakery, Los Angeles, CA

Le Chef Bakery, Los Angeles, CA

Sweet Temptations Bakery, Los Angeles

Winchester Farms, Riverside CA

Granola, Triple B Distrubtion, Los Angeles, CA


9) Do you purchase milk from a local dairy?

 [ X]  Yes. Please provide name of dairy and location: Alta Dena, City of Industry, CA


10) Do you source any food from an on-campus farm or garden?

[  ]  No


11) Do you participate in a farm-to-school program?

Yes. Please describe program: Effective Fall 2009 USC will participate in the new CSA : Community Supported Agriculture. CSA connects with local sustainable farms that produce organic fruits and vegetables. Students will receive a weekly market basket report that lists what’s available for the week. Orders are placed on line and delivered to residence halls weekly : Average cost : $15.00 for a box of yummy organic produce



12) Do you have any formal policies pertaining to the purchase of organic and/or sustainably produced food?



13) Do you purchase organically grown or produced food?

Yes. Please list items:

Organic Apples

Organic Citrus Fruits: tangerine, orange (varietals) and grapefruits

Organic Berries (blueberries, blackberries & strawberries)

Organic and whole natural dried fruits ( sun dried from organic orchards)

14) How much do you spend annually on organically grown or produced food?

[$ 30,000]


For questions 15-19, please indicate percentage based on annual dollar amount spent.


15) Do you purchase cage-free eggs and/or confinement-free meat products?

[ ]  No


16) Do you purchase any grass-fed animal products?

[  ]  No


17) Do you purchase hormone- and antibiotic-free meat?

  Yes. Please indicate (repeat for each product).

[ 1%]  Percentage hormone- and antibiotic-free. Type of meat: Total


18) Do you purchase hormone- and antibiotic-free dairy products?

[ x]  Don’t know


19) Do you purchase seafood that meets Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch guidelines or Marine Stewardship Council standards?

[  ]  No


20) Do you offer specifically labeled vegan entrees on a daily, weekly, or other regularly scheduled basis?

[x]  Yes. We’re launching a program that offers a vegan menu daily our two residential dining facilities (EVK and Parkside


21) Please list and give percentages for any other sustainably produced food items you purchase that are not included above: We sell organic products in our convenience stores that are organic.



22) Do you purchase Fair Trade Certified coffee?

Some. Please describe: Starbucks is the largest purchaser of fair trade coffee in the world. Not all of our coffee is certified fair trade simply because there is not enough fair trade high quality coffee in the world. Starbucks also has other ethical sourcing standards they implement and use a third party to audit.


23)  Do you purchase other Fair Trade Certified food products?

 [ x]  Yes. Please indicate (repeat for each product).

We purchase some tea and chocolate



24) Please indicate which of following your university-operated/contracted dining facilities offers.

Reusable and disposable dishware


25) If you offer disposables, please indicate materials used (check all that apply).

 [  ]  Biodegradable/compostable

Description (optional):


26) Do your dining facilities offer discounts or cash incentives to individuals using reusable dishware, bringing a bag, or bringing reusable containers?

[  ]  No


27) Do your dining facilities use any polystyrene products (i.e., Styrofoam)?




28) Do your dining facilities compost preconsumer food scraps?

 [  ]  Yes. Please indicate the proportion of dining facilities that run preconsumer compost programs (e.g. two out of five dining facilities) and, if available, the combined annual tonnage composted.

[   5 of 13]  Proportion of dining facilities that run preconsumer compost programs.
[    184.50  ]  Annual tonnage of preconsumer compost.


29) Do your dining facilities compost postconsumer food scraps?

[ 5 of 13 ]  Yes. Please indicate the proportion of dining facilities that run postconsumer compost programs (e.g. two out of five dining facilities) and, if available, the combined annual tonnage composted.
[  ]  Proportion of dining facilities that run postconsumer compost programs.
[   99.3    ]  Annual tonnage of postconsumer compost.


30) Do your dining facilities donate excess food to a food bank, soup kitchen, or shelter, etc.?

[x]  No – We used to, but now we use food forecasting software that eliminates food overages.


31) Do your dining facilities have a trayless dining program?

[x]  Yes – Residential Dining Halls!


32) Please tell us about any other steps your dining facilities have taken to reduce waste (e.g., food waste auditing, recycling used cooking oil for biodiesel production):

We conducted a waste audit at one of our largest dining facilities to determine waste composition, so that we could organize and model out a new recycling and composting system. In Progress.



33) Please indicate which traditional materials your dining facilities recycle (check all that apply).

[ Y]  Aluminum

[ Y]  Cardboard : We have a dedicated cardboard recycling and bailing program.

[ Y]  Glass

[ Y]  Paper

[ Y]  Plastics (all)

Notes: We have a single-stream recycling program with our contracted waste management firm. All of our trash gets sorted at a material recovery facility and the mixed recyclables are sent directly to a recycling processing center.


34) Are recycling receptacles located throughout dining locations?

[x]  Yes. Please describe: Depending on the dining location there are always recycling bins available within the facilities and usually immediately outside.


35) What is the dining services' current waste-diversion rate (the percentage of recyclable waste diverted from traditional disposal)?

[ ~50%] Not counting compost or food waste.



Questions 36-37 are for informational purposes only; responses will NOT be included in the Report Card evaluation process.

 36) Indicate if your dining services are:

 [ x]  Other. Please describe: Both – we operate some of our own locations and some are vendor run.


37) Is the dining services director, or another dining services staff person, a member of any campus-wide environmental/sustainability initiatives or committees at your school?

[ x]  Yes. Please describe: The head of auxiliaries services (Bookstore, housing, and dining) is on the Sustainability Steering Committee.



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