Everyone eats, and that’s why food matters. A growing global population and increasing food needs make the sustainable production of food all the more important. NC State features industry-leading research and highly-respected academic programs related to agriculture. These programs have a direct impact on North Carolina, where agriculture is the state’s largest industry.
pounds of produce grown at the NC State Agroecology Education Farm was used by NC State Dining last year.
What We Do
NC State Dining features award-winning sustainability programs focused on sourcing local food, water conservation, composting, recycling cooking oil and several other waste reduction initiatives.
Pollinators such as bees are vital to food supply, making their health paramount to sustainable food systems. Browse the campus sustainability map to see NC State’s actively-maintained bee hives or explore the university’s apiculture program.
There’s food no more local than food you grow yourself. Several community garden projects exist on campus, including the student-run SOL Garden, Learning Gardens, Agroecology Education Farm, herb gardens and several garden ideas in development.
An interdisciplinary group of staff, faculty and students are working to improve student food and housing security on campus. Feed the Pack is a community-run food pantry serving all NC State faculty, staff and students.
How You Can Help
1. Eat local food to support local farmers and reduce environmental impacts of food shipment.
2. Minimize food waste. An estimated 40% of the U.S. food supply is wasted annually.
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Packing the Pantry
The inaugural Year of Feeding the Pack challenge united the university community to collect 23,542 pounds of food for NC State’s food pantry.
Pack Meal Share Program Receives 1,500 Donated Meals for Spring 2023
The Pack Meal Share program was developed in 2018 through collaboration between Student Government, NC State Dining and the Student Ombuds office as a way for students to directly support their peers. Students with a flex meal plan donated a total of 1,500 meals at the end of the fall semester, which will be distributed throughout the spring to students who apply for aid.
Fungi Could Be the Future of Healthier Plants
Researchers at NC State are studying how mycorrhizal fungi can enhance plant health and could lessen our reliance on non-renewable fertilizers.
NC State’s Cooperative Extension offers the following resources related to agriculture and food.
- Center for Environmental Farming Systems
- 10% Campaign encourages the purchase of at least 10 percent of food from NC farmers
- North Carolina Cooperative Extension offers numerous resources on agriculture and food, as well as beekeeping
The following opportunities are available on NC State’s campus:
- Buy directly from farmers at the Campus Farmer’s Market or nearby State Farmer’s Market
- SOUL Garden is a student-led organic garden that offers volunteer opportunities and the opportunity to learn about gardening
- Feed the Pack Food Pantry is a community-based initiative sustained by the greater NC State community to combat the food insecurity experienced by members of the Wolfpack family
- Agroecology Education Farm offers volunteer and educational opportunities
- Howling Cow dairy products from NC State are produced on campus and available for sale
- College of Agriculture and Life Sciences’ students have many student groups related to food.