Eat Local@URI

The University of Rhode Island, partnering with local vendors, farms, and fishermen, have upped our game to bring our students, faculty, and staff a campus filled with local products.

Why the change?

Simply, it’s for everyone to feel happy, healthy, and sure of the food their consuming.
“As a higher education institution, the University of Rhode Island recognizes its unique opportunity to make significant contributions toward a more sustainable society through teaching, research and outreach.

Our vision for sustainability on campus is one where all members of the community are engaged in the pursuit of practices and principles toward a sustainable economy, a healthy ecosystem, and an environmentally just society.” 

“Local and regional food systems centralize, within a specific region, all of the activities associated with producing, processing, distributing and marketing foods. But there’s a lot more to it than simply geography. Local food systems convey information to consumers so that they can learn about and feel more connected to where their food comes from, while supporting their local economy.”

Everyone on campus at any time can go to our dining halls, and find our Eat Local @ URI cards to be able to see where their food came from. It can range from being grown right on campus through our farms, and newly implemented terraponic grow system (hyperlink to the other article here) where we can harvest fresh 100% organic, nutrient-filled produce. The University also purchases from local vendors ranging from Maine to Pennsylvania, which is the same mileage as traveling from the top of California to the bottom, and traveling from either farthest point back to the University of Rhode Island would cut that trip in half, this is labeled as Northeast Producers. The most notable change through this program is through our seafood produce, where students can enjoy always fresh seafood products harvested safely and raised humane until consumed by our campus community. Our bread is purchased from the local bakery, Calise & Sons. For more than 110 years, the Calise family has been baking and delivering the freshest bread in the region, earning the reputation of the highest quality speciality bakery in the Northeast. Finally, we purchase from local Roch’s market and local farmers, ranging from Narragansett to Woonsocket. Roch’s recommends seasonal menu items and you can find these labeled as regional farmers.


The Results?

By supporting local farmers, local vendors, and growing on campus there is a financial advantage to all involved. Vendors and farmers have an economic impact by partnering with the University that helps them thrive, and growing on campus offers student workplace opportunities. 

Students, faculty, staff, and visitors gain knowledge of the benefits of eating organic and local, helping the social and environmental change needed to make this world more sustainable for the generations to follow. 

Finally, it all goes beyond just the food. Just from September of 2017 to our current times the University of Rhode Island has converted over 300,000 pounds of waste to compost, complete recycling programs, and even converting all frying oils to biodiesel through a company, Mahoney Environmental Solutions, formerly Newport Biodiesel, founded by our URI alumni. 

  • Some of the local business we have worked with:


    • Aquahealth-sparkling and still fountain water – Wrentham, MA
    • American Mussel harvesters – North Kingstown, RI
    • Calise & Sons Bakery-all bulky rolls and misc. breads – Lincoln, RI
    • Town Dock – Narragansett, RI
    • Teddy Bear -peanut butter – Everett, MA
    • Thin and Trim Old Neighborhood Brand -Deli meats – Lynn, MA
    • Roch’s Produce – all produce, salads and premade sandwiches – Warwick/Narragansett, RI
    • Hatfield Farms/Clemens group-pork products
    • UNFI-distributor of healthy and organics – Providence, RI
    • Blount Seafood-soups and frozen seafood – Warren, RI/New Bedford, MA
    • Bread- Calise, Homestead and other local vendors – Providence, RI
    • Kenyon Mills-Corn meal and Johnnycake mix – Usquapaug, RI
    • Bake ‘n Joy Muffins – North Andover, MA
    • Northeast beverages – Warwick, RI
    • Quality Beef – Providence, RI
    • J&G Foods –manufacturer of custom meat cuts –Sutton, MA
    • Caradonna- manufacturer of custom meat cuts and salamis – RI
    • Autocrat Coffee-vendor of coffee and syrup – Providence, RI
    • Del’s Lemonade – frozen desserts -Providence, RI
    • Iomondi Egg Co. – Fresh shell eggs – Cranston, RI
    • JAR Bakery Supply – misc bakery supplies – Lincoln, RI
    • Wakefield Liquors – All alcohol purchases – Wakefield, RI