Food System

On-Campus Food Sustainability

In the fall of 2021, on-campus dining returned to UMB. The Market at the SMC Campus Center utilizes Chartwells, a vendor with a commitment to sustainability. Their sustainability scorecard includes: 

  • 98% of seafood comes from sustainable sources
  • 98% of milk is rGHB free
  • 90% of yogurt is rGHB free
  • 78% of chicken is produced without the routine use of human antibiotics
  • 80% of turkey is produced without the routine use of human antibiotics
  • 77% of eggs are certified humane cage-free
  • 67% of coffee is eco/fair trade certified

For more information on sustainability initiatives at Chartwells, visit the Chartwells website.

Plant-Based Eating

Eating a plant-based diet is not only good for human health, but also for planetary health. According to a recent study at the University of Oxford published in Science, eating a vegan diet could be the “single biggest way” to reduce your environmental impact on earth. Researchers at Oxford found that cutting meat and dairy products from your diet could reduce an individual’s carbon footprint from food by up to 73%. In addition to carbon, by reducing our animal-based foods consumption, we greatly reduce our usage of fresh water and land needed for agriculture.

Eating Local

Here are just a few of the benefits of eating food that has been locally grown: 

  • Local food supports the local economy, reinvesting money in your community
  • Local food benefits the environment by helping to maintain farmland and green space within your community, as well as cutting down on carbon emissions from transportation
  • Local growers can tell you how exactly the food was grown (planting, raising, harvesting)
  • Local food is full of flavor and nutrients because of the shorter time period between harvest and your table 

For more information, please visit the website for Homegrown Baltimore, the city government’s urban agriculture program, encouraging Baltimore residents to grow local, buy local, and eat local.

University Farmers Market

The UMMC's Farmers Market, located at the University Park Plaza on the corner of Paca Street and Baltimore Street, is held every Tuesday in May through November from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Stop by to purchase fresh produce, sweet treats, prepared meals, and more!

For a detailed list of vendors, as well as information on using SNAP benefits at the market, visit the UMMC website.

UMB Student Food Security

Food insecurity has become a growing concern for students on many campuses. The Food Security Project at the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) is a program to support students who may be experiencing food insecurity. UMB conducted a student survey in fall 2018 to determine if there is a need for a student food pantry or other resources on campus to assist in addressing any food insecurity that may exist among the student population. Check the  Food Security Infographic  to view some of the findings from the survey.  

For more information and resources regarding food security on campus, please visit the UMB Student Affairs website. 

Baltimore City Food Environment Maps

The Department of Planning and the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future collaborate to examine the Baltimore food environment through research, analysis and mapping in order to inform the work of the City’s Baltimore Food Policy Initiative (BFPI). BFPI is a collaboration between the Department of Planning, Office of Sustainability, Baltimore City Health Department and Baltimore Development Corporation that draws on the expertise of each to use food as a lens to examine and address the systems that perpetuate food environment disparities.

The city brief provides a snapshot of the impact of Healthy Food Priority Areas and an analysis of food retail, nutrition assistance, and urban agriculture from a citywide perspective. For the most recent food environment briefs, visit the Baltimore City Department of Planning’s website.