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by Mog,Justin M last modified Jul 08, 2016 06:27 PM

UofL seeks to provide ever greater access to local, healthy, and sustainably produced food.

UofL Farmers' Markets

Belknap Campus Farmers’ Market Facebook

Thursdays, 3:30-6:00pm (mid-May to mid-October)
At 3rd St & Brandeis Ave in front of The Ville Grill

UofL launched a new weekly Farmers' Market on Belknap Campus in 2014. From May to October, the market offers farm-fresh local products, including fruits, vegetables, eggs, meats, prepared meals, baked goods, honey, popcorn, granola, canned goods, natural home & body care products, crafts, and more. The Office of Health Promotion & Get Healthy Now is also on hand to provide healthy local food samples and cooking demos.

  • In 2016, the Belknap Farmers' Market will be open May 19th to October 13th.
  • At the first market each month, Get Healthy Now will offer special “Take 20” fitness sessions at the market; and starting in late August, look for the Office of Health Promotion's cooking demonstrations and sampling with chef & health coach Mat Shalenko!
  • Debit cards, SNAP benefits (EBT), and Senior Vouchers will be accepted by select vendors!
  • Email comments/questions. Follow us on Facebook


Why shop at Farmers' Markets?

Gray Street Farmers' Market Facebook

Thursdays, 10:30am – 2:00pm (mid-May through Oct.)
At UofL's Health Sciences Center by the School of Public Health & Information Sciences on the 400 block of E. Gray St, between Preston & Jackson. Directions.
  • The Gray Street Farmers’ Market began in 2009 as an outreach program of the UofL School of Public Health and Information Sciences. Stop by at lunch time every Thursday (rain or shine) mid-May through October.
  • In 2016, the Gray St. Farmers' Market will be open May 19th to Oct. 27th.
  • With 11 unique local vendors, you'll find the finest in farm-fresh local products, including fruits, vegetables, pasture-raised meat & eggs, popcorn, honey & syrup, jams, granola, bread & baked goods, flowers, plants, prepared lunches, food trucks, and more.
  • Cash, debit cards, SNAP benefits, and Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Vouchers accepted!
  • New for 2016, the market established a new partnership with the Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service’s Nutrition Education Program, and will co-sponsor meal-sampling events on June 9, July 14, and August 11.
  • Access our collection of delicious recipes for local products.
  • Watch Vendor Spotlights and recordings of our Monthly 20/20 Talks (a short seminar series on food and sustainability) on the Gray Street Farmers' Market YouTube Channel!

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Program

UofL will host a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) pick-up at the Health Sciences Center during the 2016 season! Learn more and sign-up by May 15, 2016 to get a weekly (or biweekly) delivery of fresh, local, sustainably-grown produce from mid-May through October!

  • CSA Pick-up Time: Tuesdays 2-6:30pm
  • CSA Pick-up Location at UofL: MedCenter One Building (questions? Contact Andrea Sinclair, 502-852-6501)
  • Costs:
    Full Share (about 7-10 items/week): $25/week ($550 for the 22-week season).  
    Half Share (Pick-up EVERY OTHER week): $25/box ($275 for the season).
  • Enrollment Deadline: May 15, 2016
  • Full Details & Sign-ups here
CSA Drop-off at UofL

History of Belknap CSA Program:
For many years prior to the opening of our Belknap Farmers' Market in 2014, UofL facilitated a process through which individuals were able to subscribe for campus delivery of a weekly selection of fresh, seasonal foods direct from area farmers, complete with a weekly newsletter full of recipes.

  • In 2013, we were able to offer an expanded, year-round Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program in partnership with the now closed Grasshoppers Distribution which provided weekly deliveries at the University Club parking lot on Thursdays 4-5pm. The all-local Root Cellar green grocer also sent its mobile market - The Root Mobile - to campus for walk-up purchases and special deliveries in coordination with the CSA deliveries. You did not have to be a weekly subscriber to place individual orders through Grasshoppers' highly flexible a la carte system that provided weekly deliveries of local produce, diary, eggs, cheeses, bread, sweets, pasta, beef, pork, poultry, specialty meats, condiments, prepared foods, teas, and locally-roasted coffee. With the sudden closing of Grasshoppers in late 2013, this was no longer be an option.

You can get a feeling for how the program worked from the 2013 program: Full details of all 2013 CSA options here. Participating CSA farms for 2013 included two new farms:

  1. Grasshoppers Distribution (Louisville distributor for multiple area farms) offered weekly drop-offs at University Club parking lot on Thursdays 4-5pm beginning June 6, 2013. You did need not be a weekly subscriber to place individual orders through Grasshoppers' highly flexible a la carte year-round system that provided weekly drop-offs of local produce, diary, eggs, cheeses, bread, sweets, pasta, beef, pork, poultry, specialty meats, condiments, soups, teas, and locally-roasted coffee. 
  2. Joe Trigg's Farmers2City Connection (F2CC) CSA (Glasgow, KY - Barren Co.) offered Thursday 4-5pm drop-offs at Lutz Hall circle May 30 - Sept. 12, 2013; Full-share $22/wk, Half-share $12.50/wk; Questions: Joe Trigg 270-303-1244,
  3. Finger Picking Farms (Palmyra, IN) Offered UofL drop-offs and possible home delivery; Full-share $20.50/wk, Half-share (every other week) $11.36/wk; Contact: Nicholas Posante 502-287-8206,
  4. EpiCurious, Hemmer Hill Farm (Crestwood, KY) Offered  Thursday drop-offs at the University Club circle; Full-share $21.74/wk, Half-share (every other week) $13/wk; Contact: Joyce Keibler 502-228-3860,
  • Each year UofL invited students, staff and faculty to connect directly with local farmers through our CSA program. Direct questions to Mitchell Payne, 852-5155, mitchell.payne (at)
  • Customers subscribed to a CSA in the spring, providing farmers with much-needed income at the beginning of the growing season, and then share in the bounty of the harvest.
  • Options for farm-fresh food baskets included not only fresh vegetables and fruits, but mushrooms, meats, cheeses, eggs, and more.
  • Full shares started as low as $20.50 per week. Lower-cost/quantity half-shares started at $11.36/wk are also available, or some customers split a share with friends.
  • All UofL staff, faculty, students, and the public were welcome to participate.
  • Connect with other subscribers and find more information at the UofL CSA Facebook Page.
  • The program helped support our local economy, promoted healthy eating, and reduced the environmental impact of transporting, processing, and packaging food from far away.

Campus Dining

UofL works closely with our food services providers on a variety of campus dining sustainability initiatives:

Interview: Sustainable food initiatives and farmers markets at UofL (begins at 28:18) (“La Vida Local” on Crescent Hill Radio, July 19, 2014)
From Farm to Table to Student (The Louisville Cardinal, 1/15/13)
Eating Green Calculator - Get a handle on the impact of your eating habits and the benefits of eating differently!
Look for these labels to guide your healthy, sustainable dining choices on campus!
  1. Local Purchasing: We support local farms and businesses, with a contractual requirement that at least 20% of all food purchases be sourced from within 250 miles of campus, including produce, dairy, meats, breads and baked goods. We continue to exceed that minimum and increase our local purchasing.
    Percentage of food sourced locally:
    - 31.2% Fall 2015 (Jul-Nov)
    - 28.9% 2014-15
    - 27.5% 2013-14
    - 24.7% 2012-13
    - Read profiles of some of our local food suppliers, including Grateful Greens, Creation Gardens, Bourbon Barrel Foods, and Marksbury Farm.

  2. Zero-Waste Reusable To-Go Club: In Fall 2015, we launched a brand new take-out service in truly sustainable style – without adding to the waste stream!! Purchase your Ville Grill To-Go Club membership in person at The Ville Grill for just $10. Membership earns you a reusable container, unlimited washing of the container and compostable cutlery & napkins, should you need them.
  3. Food Waste Composting: In 2010, we began a pilot pre-consumer food waste composting program in our main campus kitchens. Over 1000 pounds of kitchen waste was collected by volunteers and composted on campus each week, turning a waste product into valuable organic fertilizer for the campus vegetable garden and landscaping. In 2012, we went full-scale and now send as much as 6000 pounds/week of both pre- and post-consumer food waste to a composting facility in southern Indiana. Learn more here.

  4. Trayless, Non-disposable Dining: We offer trayless dining with real plates, glasses, and silverware at The Ville Grill, our all-you-care-to-eat dining hall at 3rd & Brandeis, open to all students, employees and the public. This helps to reduce the amount of trash produced and food wasted (our eyes are often bigger than our stomachs!), as well as the resources that would be used to wash the trays.
  5. Healthy and Vegetarian/Vegan Dining:
    - Learn how to assemble a healthy meal with the UofL Smart Plate guide! The Louisville Cardinal has prepared this guide for how to eat healthy on campus.
    - The Ville Grill (3rd & Brandeis) provides numerous healthy options, including a salad bar; a vegetarian & vegan station with a menu dedicated to serving protein-balanced and nutrient-dense meals at every meal; and an allergen-free station which also serves as a great option for vegans, since processed foods are avoided and all are prepared with no milk, eggs, wheat, soy, shellfish, peanuts, tree nuts or gluten.
    - Healthy and Vegetarian options are available at nearly every other campus dining venue. Look for the special icons on menus around campus.
    - Explore your options from an independent, student perspective, with The Louisville Cardinal's Vegetarian’s Guide to UofL Dining
  6. Nutritional Information: New online menus include nutritional information about every item. You can choose which meals to view and do a comparison to help you plan a healthy, delicious meal. Learn how to assemble a healthy meal with the UofL Smart Plate guide!

  7. Humanely-raised Meat & Eggs: We seek to source meat from humane producers. For instance, all of the beef served at the former Cardinal Burger Company (SAC 2nd level) was sourced from Marksbury Farm in Garrard County, KY which provides not only local, but pasture-raised, grass-fed beef with no artificial hormones or steroids.
  8. Food Donation: When available, UofL Dining donates left-over food to The Lord’s Kitchen and Wayside Christian Mission. We also have a donation box at our convenience store, The Nest, that allows students to purchase non-perishable foods to donate to our local food bank, Dare to Care. Once a year, UofL Dining sponsors an event called Helping Hands that raises awareness about hunger and accepts student donations for our local food bank. Last year students and faculty at the university teamed-up to donate nearly 7,000 pounds of food to Dare to Care.

  9. Waste Cooking Oil to Biodiesel: Beginning in 2009, Chemical Engineering faculty and students have been involved in the conversion of waste vegetable oil from UofL Dining services into biodiesel used to fuel our campus shuttle. We scaled-up this effort in 2011, when UofL Dining  supplied even more used cooking oil for local conversion into biodiesel. The project began through a partnership with the Louisville Biodiesel Cooperative and then Kelley Green Biofuel of Goshen, KY (5100 Greenhaven Lane), a community-scale, ASTM-certified, National Biodiesel Board registered biodiesel producer with an annual capacity of 75,000 gallons, located just 30 miles from campus. Check out the details of the project here.
  10. Recycled Napkins: We use 100% recycled content napkins at all of our dining locations on campus.

  11. Reusable Mug Program: We sell reusable bottles and mugs at many of our dining locations and offer discounted refills when customers use these, or their own, reusable mugs.

Fair Trade

The Merits of Fair Trade

UofL Dining is committed to doing the right thing. One way we are actively supporting this commitment is by ensuring that all of the coffee served at UofL's campus dining facilities is Fair Trade certified. Fair Trade certification ensures that producers are treated fairly and paid a fair wage for their products. Fair Trade also involves a more direct relationship between the producer and the purchaser, to reduce the amount of profit absorbed by middle men. UofL supports Fair Trade and we seek to provide even more Fair Trade options in the future.

Ordering Food? Get it delivered by UofL grads who launched Louisville's first hyper-local, environmentally-friendly, low-cost food delivery service: Arrow Food Couriers.

Local Foods Catering

Ordering food for a campus event? Why not use the occasion to highlight delicious, fresh, seasonal, sustainable food from our region? It won't necessarily cost you more, but it will definitely cost the planet less. UofL Dining Catering offers great local food options throughout the year, as does Farm To Fork Catering, and many other area caterers.

Reduce your impact even more and enhance the healthiness of your offerings by requesting low-meat or vegan catering. No matter who you hire, just remember to ask for local!...and as few disposable items as possible. No bottled water or styrofoam, please!

Learn To Cook!

What's in Season? Check the Kentucky Proud Produce Guide!

Everyone at UofL has the opportunity to learn how to cook with fresh, local ingredients for improved personal and planetary health through the Office of Health Promotion or Get Healthy Now! Both work to support your healthy choices through cooking workshops, shopping guidance, and tasty recipes. Whether you are a novice or expert cook, a poor student or a rich entrepreneur, our helpful guidance makes it easier to create quick and nutritious meals. In addition to nutritional advice and guidance, Health Promotion offers:

Grocery Store Tours - Learn how to buy fresh, affordable, and real food at your local grocery store!

Cooking Workshops - Learn from a local chef how to prepare meals using student-friendly recipes!

The food you have on hand largely determines how healthfully you will eat. So wisely stocking your pantry is a step toward your good health!

Kentucky Proud Products

Kentucky ProudUofL is Kentucky Proud! Our campus bookstores and The Nest convenience store in Louisville Hall feature Kentucky Proud products made right here in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Take some home today or get them for a loved one - Kentucky Proud products make great gifts!


Centerplate, which provides food and beverage services at UofL athletic venues, has agreed to purchase at least $50,000 of Kentucky Proud products in 2016. The products include Kentucky-grown popcorn and local meat and cheese. Products include Kentucky Proud popcorn, grown by western Kentucky farm families and processed by Preferred Popcorn; burgers from The Chop Shop of Wolfe County and Omni Meats of Bowling Green; meats from Brooks Meats of Walton; and Kenny’s Farmhouse Cheese of Barren County. The products will be available at Uof L athletic events at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium, the KFC Yum! Center, Jim Patterson Baseball Stadium and the University of Louisville Golf Club.

Campus Organic Gardens

UofL has food gardens on all three of our campuses! The largest is the Garden Commons at the Cultural Center on Belknap campus. Garden Commons is a community space open to all students, faculty, staff and community members for learning about organic urban agriculture, more sustainable food systems, and building resilient community. Learn more here.

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