garden raised beds

Eating Local

Local Food Initiatives

The University affirmed its commitment to sustainable and local food by partnering with Bon Appétit Management Company to deliver Penn’s Dining program. Bon Appétit and Penn Dining are committed a sustainable future for food service by providing flavorful food that’s healthy and economically viable for all, produced through practices that respect farmers, workers, and animals; nourish the community; and replenish our shared natural resources for future generations.

Learn more about Penn and Bon Appétit's sustainable dining efforts at the Penn Dining website.

Learning about Sustainable Food Practices

Each year Penn Dining and Bon Appetit host various events to educate members of the Penn Community on food-related issues, from sustainability to social justice.

  • Food Week – Held each October, food week features a variety of activities which highlight various issues around sustainable food. Topics include farm worker rights, local farming, nutrition, food waste management and events include seminars and workshops, lectures, community service activities and farm and kitchen tours.
  • Eat Local Challenge - The Eat Local Challenge highlights the dining cafe chefs’ creativity, educates guests about eating locally and seasonally, and supports and publicizes great local farmers. All ingredients for selected stations come from local farmers and artisans within 150 miles of Penn the only exception is salt!
  • Low Carbon Diet Day - This event is designed to teach the Penn community about low-impact eating. Typically, on Low Carbon Diet Day, guests can enjoy a delicious meal by swapping beef and dairy for equally flavorful but planet-friendlier options such as chicken, pork, and vegetable-based proteins.

University Square Farmers Market

Since 2004, the University Square Farmers Market has been held at the corner of 36th and Walnut Streets, outside the Penn Bookstore. The Market is open Wednesdays 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. year-round. The Farmers’ Market offers neighbors and members of the Penn community an opportunity to buy fresh, delicious food from local farmers as well as allowing students to make purchases using their dining plans. 

Some of the products offered at the market include conventional vegetables, IPM fruit & berries, sweet cider; European-style baked goods, pastries, breads, and granola; plants and flowers for the home and office, seedlings for the garden; all-natural soaps and bodycare products; and artisanal chocolates.

This market accepts FMNP vouchers, Dining Dollars, and PennCash.

For questions related to the University Square Farmers Market, please contact Jon Glyn, Program Manager for Farm to City.