Food Programs

The decisions you make about what to eat each day have a huge impact on your health, the environment and the DU campus. The Food and Gardens team at the Center for Sustainability seeks to critically examine the entire food system at DU, from where the food comes to what happens to uneaten food. Toward this end, several programs target on-campus diners, encouraging mindful consumption. 

DU Food Pantry

The DU Food Pantry is a free resource available to students, faculty and staff who are experiencing food insecurity either as a singular event or as a chronic condition. The program is a supplementary food pantry to support those in need. Located in the Center for Sustainability at Centennial Towers, the Food Pantry is open for drop-in hours on Tuesdays from 4-8 pm or by appointment. 

Learn more about how to use or donate to the Food Pantry.

GrowHaus Boxes

The GrowHaus is a nonprofit indoor farm in Denver's Elyria-Swansea neighborhood with the vision to catalyze a neighborhood-based food system that is healthy, equitable and resident-driven. One of the ways they build support for this work is to sell weekly food boxes filled with locally sourced fruits, veggies, bread and eggs. Anyone can buy a food box, and it is a great way to add local foods to your diet in an affordable way. Customize your food box to meet your needs, and pick it up every Friday at the Center for Sustainability.

Ela Family Farms CSA

Ela Family Farms is a family farm in Hotchkiss, CO, growing over 55 varieties of organic tree fruits — cherries, peaches, pears, apples and plums, plus organic grapes and multiple varieties of organic heirloom tomatoes. Their business is built on flavor, environmental stewardship, quality local food we can all believe in and building relationships. Every spring, DU faculty, staff and students are invited to buy a community-supported agriculture (CSA) share that will provide them with pounds of delicious, seasonal local fruit nearly every week during the fall quarter. There is even a specially priced option for students who typically arrive on campus after the shares have started arriving. 

Sign up at the Ela website during the spring quarter, and look forward to local fruit all autumn long. Pickup is every Tuesday during the fall quarter at the Center for Sustainability.

a gluten free baker waves for the camera at the 2019 Local Market

Local Market

While much of our work seeks to highlight local, sustainable farms and the fruits and vegetables they grow, the Local Market seeks to highlight all the other amazing local food makers who run small businesses in Denver all year round. Every February, the Center for Sustainability hosts its annual Makers Market, which provides a way for local food makers — from hot sauce to baked goods, kombucha to cheese — and personal care product producers to showcase their wares to the DU community. In this way, we introduce DU to amazing local foods while providing an economic impact in our community, supporting these small businesses.

Do you own a small business? Or know of one that we should definitely include? Let us know! Contact us at

outdoor garden boxes

ELC Garden

Tucked behind the English Learning Center on Josephine Street and Asbury Avenue, the ELC garden is home to eight raised garden beds and serves as a space where students from all around the world can come together over a shared interest in and passion for food. Managed by students at the Center for Sustainability, we partner with students studying at the English Learning Center to plant the garden with vegetables found in foods from around the world. This provides a meaningful cultural exchange for all involved, evoking fond memories of cooking from home for our international students and a chance for deep learning and connection for our domestic students. 

students managing the weigh waste table

Weigh the Waste

Our dining facilities are a significant source of waste for DU. While all the food waste produced there is composted, wasted food is a huge cost for food service providers, which eventually gets passed down to students. In an effort to curb food waste at dining halls, the Center for Sustainability has partnered with Sodexo to do twice-quarterly audits of food waste. Students are asked to scrape their plates into a bucket on their way to the dish line, and participate in a survey about their dining experiences. As results are shared, everyone gets a little more knowledge about just how much food waste they and their peers produce every single day.