Dining at Nardin

Welcome! At Nardin Academy, we believe that every student has the potential to do amazing things and make a different in the world - even in the dining hall.

Sustainable Nardin's healthy eating initiative focuses on building awareness among the entire community, especially students from the Montessori preschooler to the high school senior, of sustainable eating. Each aspect of food is addressed through Sustainable Nardin: its' production, acquisition, preparation, consumption, and ultimate effects on our bodies, our health, and the earth.

Our innovative dining hall program has accomplished one of the most daunting tasks a community can undertake: to feed a diverse population with all of its tastes, traditions and preferences and to do that in healthy ways and in relationship to our local communities.


Nardin's dining hall daily produces both breakfast and lunch from food that is largely locally sourced, organic when possible and always scratch cooked. Through relationships developed with nearly 30 local farmers and vendors, foods that are seasonal, mindfully grown and that support the interests of the larger WNY community are purchased.

Along with building community relationships, the menu offers a diverse range of options that provide ample opportunities for students to incorporate healthy foods into their diets. Students also taste test new foods in order to help build menu diversity and to expand their palates and dietary preferences.

The Nardin dining hall and kitchen strive to be zero waste. Last year, nearly 10 tons of waste was created in the dining hall and 90% was diverted to either compost, recycling, or upcycling. The kitchen is tasked with producing enough food to feed the Nardin community, but not so much as to create needless waste. "Batch cooking" is one way to satisfy a diverse and unknown number of diners, as well as dedicated daily record keeping and long-term log keeping. Because of these efforts, students, staff, and faculty alike have the pleasure of being served food that is being cooked just as they are arriving for lunch rather than eating food that was processed, frozen and reheated earlier that day.

With the zero waste initiative, students are learning the truth about the real weight and burden of waste our society creates even from the simplest of daily activities and to have a responsibility in solving the problem. Daily, students sort their lunch waste into clear bins marked for compost, recycling, and trash instead of mindlessly tossing "garbage" into recepticles. It is in this daily deed that students can learn that an individual's actions count more when compounded by a community in collaboration. One person could not lift our diverted 18,000 lbs, but a community can.

What else are we capable of accomplishing?

Chef Julie Levin

The biggest question to ask yourself about food is, “Where did this come from? Michael Pollan

Fast Facts

  • Our Nardin Dining Hall options are nut-free and corn syrup free!
  • Of nearly $15,000 dairy purchases, 67% are locally invested
  • Of the nearly $23,000 meat/fish/protein purchases, 66% are locally invested.
  • 90% of 19.362.33lbs of waste diverted in 2015-16
  • 2015-16 offered the most dining hall service days to date, yet the least amount of overall waste at an average of 116.64lbs per day
  • Working with Terracycle, the Nardin community upcycled nearly 30,000 juice bags during 2015-16