The University of Dayton, Ohio’s largest private university, recently signed the Forward Food Pledge and committed to annually increasing its plant-based menu offerings by at least 5% each year through the end of 2024. It will also provide data to track its progress reaching each annual milestone.

The collaboration between the University of Dayton and the Forward Food Collaborative will pave the way for other institutions across the country to make similar commitments for the health of the planet and for the students who attend.

Joan Bauman, executive director of dining services at the University of Dayton, cited this as her motivator for signing the Forward Food Pledge: "plant forward eating is the way to go for improving our environment and our health."

The Humane Society of the United States, which is a part of the Forward Food Collaborative, commends the University of Dayton on proactively putting the health of students and the planet first through its commitment to offering lower carbon-impact entrees across the school. In alignment with the direction consumer trends are heading, Bauman stated that, “students are asking for more plant-based foods and the University of Dayton is listening to their requests and accommodating.”

In signing the Forward Food Pledge, the University of Dayton now has access to the entire toolkit of resources offered by the Forward Food Collaborative, which includes customized culinary trainings, ongoing guidance and support, environmental impact assessments, educational and marketing materials and much more.

The University of Dayton is the first school in the country to sign the Forward Food Pledge, and, as they look ahead to fall classes, their example is a major milestone in the clear and growing transformation of our food system towards offering more inclusive plant-based foods for all. Since the University of Dayton signed the pledge, other schools have joined as well.

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