Community Involvement

BU Dining Services not only focuses on taking care of our guests, we also do our part to contribute to the larger community around us. Each year, Dining Services partners with the Community Service Center to conduct fundraising and educational “student fast” programs. Traditionally, the fast is comprised of students volunteering to skip two residence hall meals on the same day so the cost savings can be contributed to a worthy cause. One fundraiser is held in each of the fall and spring semesters. Over the years, contributions have been made to Oxfam AmericaAmerican Red Cross, Tsunami Relief, Habitat for Humanity, and the Community Service Center’s Food for Food.

Dining Services has also partnered with the U.S. Marine Corps in the past to help collect gifts for the Toys for Tots program. In past years between Thanksgiving and intersession, Dining Services set up large donation bins in both the Union Court at the George Sherman Union and in Starbucks at the School of Management. All members of the BU community were encouraged to bring in new unwrapped toys (nonviolent) to be distributed to needy children in the community.

Food For Free rescues fresh food—food that might otherwise go to waste—and distributes it within the local emergency food system where it can reach those in need.
Through a combination of food rescue, farming, andtransportation services, we give food programs year-round access to fresh fruits and vegetables, while our delivery program brings food directly to isolated seniors and people with disabilities. Our programs address not only short-term hunger, but obesity, diet-related disease, and other long-term health effects of food insecurity and poor nutrition. In addition, food rescue—also called salvage or gleaning—reduces food waste.  BU Dining is proud to partner with Food For Free and all that they do.

Every year since 1982, BU has partnered with Oxfam to help fight poverty, hunger, and injustice. We raise contributions through “student fast” programs: BU students volunteer to skip two residence hall meals on designated days, with the cost savings donated to Oxfam. Dining Services works with student groups twice a year to organize sign-up tables in residence dining halls, helping to make these fundraisers a major success.


Dining Services’ relationship with SHA has benefited everyone. Our staff and chefs teach classes in hospitality administration throughout the year. We also offer an internship program for SHA students to further their work experience before graduating. After graduation, Dining Services offers job opportunities. Currently, 16 members of our team are SHA grads, including five who were hired in 2010 for management positions on campus.


Because our staff often includes foreign-born individuals, Dining Services offers weekly employee classes in English as a second language. BU students from the School of Education serve as tutors, helping these employees enhance both their personal and professional lives. The 2010 spring semester class graduated more than 15 staff members.


This Boston institution, founded in 1969, is a national leader in the fight against homelessness. It respectfully serves more than 1,300 homeless individuals daily with everything from food and shelter to job training. BU Dining Services has worked with the Inn to help guests find jobs and prepare for interviews, including interviews arranged for employment at BU. Together with the University’s Director of Human Resources, several member of our staff have given lectures and tips for more successful interviews.


Dining Services works with BU’s vibrant Community Service Center and student groups such as Slow Food Group BU and Habitat for Humanity BU, helping with fundraising and philanthropic activities. We also partner with residence hall associations throughout the year to offer special events and programs for residents. Other student group partnerships include athletics teams and campus Greek organizations.

“Give a year, change the world” is the mantra of City Year corps members. They provide critically needed services to some of city’s most underserved children and youth, calling on the Boston community for help. When they decided to fix up the South End House community center, more than 50 dining employees volunteered to help paint, repair, and organize. Today, kids can attend the center’s educational programs in a brighter, more productive space.