RIT commits to 50% plant-based dining options

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HENRIETTA, N.Y. — Rochester Institute of Technology has pledged that by 2025, it will have 50 percent plant-based dining options.

RIT has over 16,000 students, and RIT Dining has 20 different dining facilities throughout campus that services them. Don LaFlam, executive director of RIT Dining, said that on average they serve 17,000 meals a day to students, faculty and staff. It is LaFlam’s job to make sure that the dietary needs of the RIT campus are met, one of those needs being healthy plant-based meals.

RIT has been working on a plant-based initiative since 2017 when it first began working with the United States Humane Society. LaFlam said, “Over the last several years we have been growing our options across campus and up to now we are up to 25-30 percent plant-based in all of our entrees and in our larger facilities.”

Providing these options in dining facilities gives students the opportunity to try plant-based options, even if they eat meat.

Darcy Jones, the RIT Student government president, is excited about the change. She said that students often ask for healthier plant-based options through the school’s petition service, “PawPrints.”

“There’s been numerous numerous PawPrints over the years about more healthy options on dining, and whenever upper administration makes a change like this it makes it really feel like they are listening and they hear the students’ concerns and they want to change stuff,” Jones said. “This past year they added the vegan grill, and so randomly I’ll just go and try stuff at the vegan grill and it’s like really good — so I’ve added it and it’s a nice change up from what I normally eat on campus.”