Working Group

The Food Working Group is a diverse group of students, staff, faculty, and community members working toward more sustainable food purchasing decisions on Indiana University's campus.

Read more about the Food Working Group in the following sections.


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The IU Task Force on Sustainability (IUSTF) created the Food Working Group (FWG) in 2007 to address issues of sustainable food on the IUB campus and in the surrounding community. With the establishment of the IU Office of Sustainability in 2009, the IUSTF transitioned into the Campus Sustainability Advisory Board (CSAB). The FWG continues its research and programming as one of seven CSAB working groups. 

Vision, Mission and Organization

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  • Vision
    We envision an environmentally sustainable and socially just food system that promotes food security, education, and local procurement within the Bloomington area.
  • Mission
    • Through collaboration among students, staff, faculty, and community members, the Food Working Group (FWG) strives to support an environmentally and financially sustainable food system focusing on quality, taste, and nutrition, as well as the social, ecological, and public health costs of food production and consumption.
  • Goals
    • Procurement: Support an environmentally sustainable food system by sourcing food that is socially just, economically viable and nutritionally sound
    • Waste: Support the development of sustainable waste-management systems
    • Education: Support learning opportunities and student activities fostering sustainable food systems
    • Collaboration: Foster a sustainable food network with increased communication and collaboration among diverse stakeholders
  • Strategic Plan
  • Organization
    • The FWG is responsible for bring together a diverse group of stakeholders on the IUB campus, uniting our often disconnected academic and operational missions in support of a healthy campus food system. As you can see, IU has an abundance of food actors, and the FWG plays a critical role in supporting communication and collaboration between them. 
Food Working Group Organization
As we put our strategic plan into action, we will continue to assess current progress and future initiatives in two key areas: infrastructure and behavior change. As you can see below, infrastructure refers to the structure, systems and procedures we use to deliver food to the campus community--put simply, the food options provided on campus. Behavior change refers to programming and initiatives aimed at educating students about and increasing demand for local and sustainable food on campus. It's hard to change one without the other. We need student demand for sustainable food in order to rationalize providing more options, but we need to education students about the social, environmental and economic impacts of their food choices through our offerings in order to change behavior. So, we're trying to tackle both simultaneously.
Infrastructure vs. Behavior

Recent Progress

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  • 2014
    • The FWG held the second IU Food Summit and discussed sustainable food options and data tracking with our vendors.
    • Volunteers began implementing the permaculture redesign plans of the Hilltop Campus Garden.
    • The FWG held the third IU Food Summit, which focused on student perceptions and demand for sustainable food. 
  • 2013
    • The FWG held the first IU Food Summit to discuss the development of a sustainable food procurement policy.
    • Dan Knudsen's Geography Real Food Challenge course began so students could work on an assessment of the sustainability of food items purchased by RPS.
    • Collins sponsored a permaculture course in Fall 2013 taught by Jonas Carpenter that has led to the redesign of the Campus Garden.
  • 2010
    • Amy Countryman created a guide for local farmers to sell to Piazza or Troyers.
  • 2010
    • Stephanie Hopkins organized the pilot campus garden at the Bryan House, and she began the Designing an Edible Campus design series.
  • 2009
    • Sustainability intern Nora Kayden worked with the IMU and Sodexo food services to compost pre-consumer food waste.
    • Martin Sorge organized the first Big Red Eats Green, an educational event during which local farms and businesses can sell samples of their products to students, staff, and faculty members on campus.
  • 2008
    • The Apple Works Farm began providing apples to RPS dining facilities.
    • Scholar’s Inn Bakehouse, a Bloomington-based bakery, begins providing all bagels sold on campus.
    • A food consumption study was conducted at Collins Residence Hall as a pilot program. Food source, food waste, carbon footprint, possible local produce providers were studied. Average distance food item travelled was 1111km or 609 miles.
  • 2007
    • IU Sustainability Task Force and Food Working Group was created.
  • 2005
    • SPROUTS (Students Producing Organics Under the Sun) student organization was founded.

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The Food Working Group is led by:  

  • Steven Lalevich, Staff Co-Chair, IUB Health Center, (
  • Carl Ipsen, Faculty Co-Chair, Professor of History, (

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Ipsen, CarlCo-Chair; Faculty (History)
Lalevich, StevenCo-Chair; Staff (IU Health Center)
Barbour, ChristineFaculty (Political Science)
Bonner, James JoseFaculty (Biology)
Boyer, PaigeStudent (School of Public Health)
Brethova, KristinStaff (IUOS Assistant Director)
Buzzelli, CaryFaculty (Education)
Drake, AncilStaff (RPS)
Fowler, SandraStaff (RPS)
Gray, ChrisStaff,
Grimes, Elin ChristineStaff (IU Health Center)
Halloran, VivianFaculty (Comparative Lit & Am Studies)
Johnston, GillianStaff (College of Arts & Sciences)
Keith, RebeccaStaff (IU Alumni Association)
Knudsen, Daniel CurtisFaculty (Geography)
Lamping, CoryStudent, IUOS
McDonell, EmmaStudent (Anthropology)
Roy Chowdhury, RinkuFaculty (Geography)
Sideris, LisaFaculty (Religious Studies)
Simmons, MichaelBloomington Food Policy
Solomon, StephanieMother Hubbard's
Swihart, SteveBloomington Independent Restaurant
Wiley, Andrea S.Faculty (Anthropology)