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Food Sustainability

With sustainability as one of YU Eats' core values, we have embedded sustainable principles in every aspect of our operations. YU Eats is ensuring that sustainability is integral in meal planning, food sourcing, preparation, and waste reduction while providing access to quality, nutritious, and affordable food to its community members. That is our commitment. Learn more about all our sustainability efforts at York University.

You can find fair trade coffee, tea, chocolate and bananas at all YU Eats locations. Read more about York and Fair Trade.

Our premier coffee supplier, Birch Bark Coffee, is a SPP-certified organic coffee, grown and produced by Indigenous descendants.

Between May 27th and June 2, 2023, York University hosted the largest fair trade event in Canadian history with the 2023 Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences. York’s Keele and Glendon campuses hosted over 8,000 scholars, graduate students and practitioners.

We have provided an alternative to single-use paper food containers with reusable Friendlier containers! Available at Stong, Winters, Central Square, Dahdaleh Building and Glendon Dining Halls and Osgoode Bistro. Your meal will be served in a Friendlier container that is reusable up to 100 times!

Simply download the Friendlier app, scan the code at the bottom of your container before returning your container to the designated Friendlier bin and get reimbursed $.50 to your account.

Learn how Friendlier works.

YU Eats is proud to announce its partnership with Vision Greens on campus to provide sustainable produce to its customers. This partnership is a result of YU Eats' commitment to promoting healthy and environmentally-friendly food options.

Vision Greens was founded in 2019 in Welland, Ontario and was the first vertical farm to grow leafy greens. Vertical farming is a method that allows for the cultivation of crops in vertically-stacked layers using minimal water and energy. This innovative farming technique not only ensures a steady supply of fresh produce but also mitigates the negative environmental impacts of traditional farming methods. In addition to promoting sustainability, this partnership means that YU Eats customers will have access to the freshest and healthiest produce possible, further enhancing the dining experience.

Benefits of Vision Greens’ vertical farming:

  • Locally Grown in Ontario, certified Non-GMO and Foodland organic
  • Pesticide, herbicide and fungicide free.
  • 96% less land usage (2,000 sq ft of vertical farming is equivalent to 12.5 acres of farmland).
  • 96% less water usage than a typical crop farm. Water is filtered and recycled for reuse.
  • 92% less food kilometres travelled, making the greens more nutrient dense and sustainable than the average greens imported into Canada.
  • 70% lower greenhouse gas emissions than traditional farms

Vision Greens is currently available at Glendon campus with exciting plans to expand offerings to Keele campus!

The Maloca Community Garden is a space for all members of the University community to experience - from growing their own food to holding special outdoor events to enjoying a great setting for sustainable teaching.

The garden also supports individuals who lack access to land, are want to build skills and knowledge in gardening, strive to raise awareness of food security or simply want to develop community connections.

Get involved.

Our YU Eats locations offer a Lug a Mug program where you can save up to $.25 when you bring your own mug!

Grab a York branded travel mug at the Bookstore!

York University phased out the sale of single use plastic water bottles from its campuses in 2015. This action was in response to the student led "Take Back the Tap" campaign, in which many schools across North America advocated for a more socially conscious approach to drinking water.

York University is committed to providing alternatives to the use of single-use plastics and have since installed 70 water refill stations across both the Keele and Glendon campuses, and retrofitted many existing public water fountains (which number over 200).

Reusable bottles can be purchased on campus at our Bookstore!

Value Meal Program

Value Meals offer York community members access to healthy, nutritious and balanced meals at an affordable price. The menu changes almost daily to cater to all taste buds!

Learn More

Teaching Kitchen

Teaching Kitchens offer free cooking classes that focus on the education in basic cooking techniques. These cooking classes combine culinary instruction using healthful whole ingredients, nutrition education, and mindfulness to address food insecurity with students in mind.

Learn More

Internal Resources Description
YFS Food Support CentreThe York Federation of Students (YFS) Food Support Centre helps students overcome difficult financial circumstances by providing free non-perishable food and basic need items.
Supports and Resources at York Access to food and supports is important for your student success. This website and the information can help you navigate food support resources across York’s campuses.
External ResourcesDescription
Toronto Food Access MapThis interactive map helps locate food resources across Toronto including food banks, free/low cost meals, community gardens, farmers markets and diverse supermarkets.
Food Support - Black Creek-Humber River helps connect people in the Black Creek-Humber River area with free food. Food support is a pilot project funded through the United Way Greater Toronto.
Too Good To Go AppToo Good To Go is the app that lets you rescue unsold food. Use the app to explore shops and restaurants in your local area and save surprise bags of surplus food from going to waste at a significantly reduced price.
Flashfood AppGet massive savings on fresh food items like meat and produce that are nearing their best before date at grocery stores.