Campus dining is a big industry, especially at UMass Amherst

The food service at UMass-Amherst, under Ken K. Toon (above), was recently rated No. 3 in the country for best campus food.
The food service at UMass-Amherst, under Ken K. Toon (above), was recently rated No. 3 in the country for best campus food.Credit: Photos by Wendy Maeda/Globe Staff

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Last month UMass Amherst was ranked No. 3 in The Princeton Review’s top 20 for the Best Campus Food list. Findings are based on a recent survey of 126,000 students at 378 colleges. (In 2003, UMass Amherst food was so bad it made the top 20 list for “Is it Food?”) What distinguishes the dining options now, according to nutritionists and food service representatives, is its innovative commitment to healthy and sustainable food in partnership with its students. The campus has four main dining commons, but it is Hampshire, which opened Aug. 6 after nine months and a $15.5 million renovation, that the university hopes will be a model for others around the country. “This is next-generation campus dining,” says Ken K. Toong, executive director of the campus’ auxiliary enterprises. “The whole thing is designed like a space ship.”

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