Healthy and Sustainable Food
Acadia is located in the beautiful Annapolis Valley, known as the breadbasket of Nova Scotia, and is thus uniquely positioned to provide healthy, sustainable and just food service to the campus community. Acadia's primary food service provider is Chartwells, with additional services provided by the Acadia Students' Union and the K.C. Irving Environmental Science Centre.
What is our Vision for healthy and sustainable food at Acadia?
Our vision is that Acadia University cultivates a nourishing, enjoyable and accessible campus food system that supports learning, celebrates diversity, contributes to the local economy, protects the environment, builds community, and promotes health. This vision is supported by ten guiding principles for food services at Acadia with a focus on healthy, sustainable and just food, but that is also affordable, educational and much more. The guiding principles are:
Acadia Food Services Plan
The Acadia Food Advisory Committee worked with the campus community and community partners over many years to prepare a comprehensive plan for food services that achieves ambitious goals aligned with student priorities which are healthy, sustainable and affordable food services for campus. This plan formed the basis for the 2019 Request For Proposals process for Food Services at Acadia.
What is local?
Local food is especially important to Acadia since we live and learn in the primary agricultural region of the province. Local is defined as food and beverage produced no more than 400 kilometers away from the university. A producer is any entity involved in growing, raising, harvesting, processing or manufacturing a food or beverage product. Distributors, bottlers, and packers are not considered producers (AASHE, 2015).
At Acadia, food and beverage produced in Nova Scotia, PEI, much of New Brunswick and northeastern Maine is considered local. Of course, not all products we consume on campus are available locally so we source food from other areas as well.
Local Producers and Suppliers
These are just a few of our local suppliers, some new to Acadia and some, like Stirling Fruit Farm, that have been long time suppliers to campus food services.
Nova Scotia Fish and Seafood Provider featuring small-scale, community-based fishers and aquaculturalists, many with Ocean Wise certification.
Credit: Alan Warner. Acadia Environmental and Sustainability students visit Afishionado in Halifax
A family beekeeping business owned by Tom Cosman and Mary Ann Whidden, located just up the road from Acadia in Greenwich in the Annapolis Valley of Nova Scotia.
Eden Valley Poultry processes and markets chicken and turkey for Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island farmers. The company is owned by local producers of quality chickens and turkeys from their family farms and a major poultry processor.
Stirling Fruit Farms has been growing apples in the Annapolis valley for over three generations.
Supporting sustainable food production by purchasing products that are certified organic is a priority at Acadia. In 2022 Acadia became the first Organic Campus in Canada, a designation awarded by the Canada Organic Trade Association. To achieve the designation Acadia formed a steering committee, committed to a minimum level of organic purchasing, and organizes educational events to raise awareness about the benefits of organic.
Fair Trade Campus
Acadia became the first Fair Trade Campus in the Maritimes in 2017. This was a joint initiative of Acadia and the Acadia Students' Union, along with partners, Just US! and Chartwells. All the coffee served on campus is Fair Trade, as well as many of the teas, chocolate and other products.
Our Food Service Partner
Chef Mike sharing cooking tips with Acadia Students Credit: Chartwells
Chartwells is our food service partner responsible for dining services, catering and most retail services at Acadia. Learn more about Acadia Dining Services
Acadia is aware that students are sometimes food insecure and cannot afford nutritious food that supports learning. There are a variety of supports and resources available to help you in times of need. Visit Student Services for Food Assistance support.
Sharing Great Food
Sharing Great Food is a joint program of the Acadia Sustainability Office, the Acadia Students' Union and Slow Food Acadia that provides free healthy and sustainable lunches to the Acadia community.
Food Services Advisory Committee
A committee of staff, faculty, students reports to the Vice President Finance and Administration & Chief Financial Officer to advance healthy and sustainable food policies and practices at Acadia and provide advice and assistance in food service related matters on campus.
Jodie Noiles, Coordinator, Acadia Sustainability Office (Committee Chair)
James Sanford, Executive Director, Student Services
Chad Johnstone, Director, Residence & Student Life
Courtney Sheedy, Health and Wellness Educator, Student Resource Centre
Dr. Liesel Carlsson, School of Nutrition and Dietetics
Dr. Lesley Frank, Sociology
ASU Vice-President, Student Life
ASU Sustainability Officer
Past Members and Contributors:
Grace Hamilton-Burge, ASU President 2017/2018
George Philp, ASU President 2018/2019
Dr. Catherine Morley, School of Nutrition and Dietetics
Kelton Thomason, Manager, Residence Life
Committee Terms of Reference
The role and structure of the committee are outlined in the Terms of Reference.