Marist College Becomes New York State’s First REAL Certified University

Industry: Health and Nutrition

Washington, DC (PRUnderground) November 2nd, 2016

The United States Healthful Food Council (USHFC) announced today that Marist College has become the first university in the state of New York to be audited and certified for Responsible Epicurean and Agricultural Leadership (REAL).

“The REAL certification is one of many accomplishments by Marist Dining Services and is a wonderful testament to our focus on wellness and sustainability,” commented Steve Sansola, Marist College Associate Dean of Student Affairs. “We take pride in our efforts to continuously enhance campus dining experiences for students, faculty and staff.”

REAL Certified is the nationally recognized mark of excellence for food and foodservice providers committed to holistic nutrition and environmental stewardship.   USHFC’s third-party registered dieticians (RDs) utilize a points-based REAL Index to audit foodservice providers across a range of criteria. To become REAL Certified, operators must satisfy prerequisites and earn sufficient points in the areas of Responsible (nutrition), Epicurean (preparation), Agricultural (sourcing) and Leadership (going above and beyond). The organization has certified restaurants and corporate cafes in over 30 states, and last year the Stanford University became the first REAL Certified University.

“Since many life-long habits are formed at college, campus dining can have a major impact on the health of the student body,” said Lawrence Williams, CEO of the USHFC. “It is good to see Marist College taking this responsibility seriously and going above and beyond to provide a food environment that promotes healthy choices.”

About Marist College Dining

Marist Dining Services by Sodexo serves students, faculty, and staff on the Hudson Valley campus in Poughkeepsie, New York. The operation oversees one dining hall serving over 4000 meals daily, six cafes through-out campus, concessions for athletic games, and catering for all campus-wide events, year-round, seven days per week. Marist Dining prides itself in its commitment to local and sustainable sourcing and has also received national recognition for innovative recipes and resident dining special events.

About Eat REAL

Eat REAL® is a 501(c) (3) nonprofit dedicated to transforming America’s food system and fighting diet-related disease. Launched in 2012, Eat REAL Certified is a nutrition and sustainability best practices certification program aimed at realigning the food industry’s incentives with consumers’ health interests. The organization has certified over 500 restaurants, corporate cafes and university and school dining services in 35 states, with financial support from the Tennessee Department of Health, the Park Foundation, the Mary Black Foundation, the Campbell Foundation and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation President’s Grant Fund of the Princeton Area Community Foundation. More information can be found at

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