Executive Director's Message

Eric Montell in front of the Hoover Tower

Dear Stanford students, parents and community,

This is an exciting time for R&DE Stanford Dining as we are welcoming more students back to campus and looking forward to a new chapter in the undergraduate residential experience with the launch of the ResX neighborhoods in Fall 2021!

It is clear in hearing from many students that conversations and making connections over meals form the center of communities and neighborhoods. Students break bread together, engage in intellectual and lively discussions over their meals with each other, faculty, and members of the Stanford community. This is an essential part of the Stanford residential education experience. The new neighborhood student meal plans are aligned with the core principles of ResX to advance diversity, equity & inclusion; to promote opportunities for community & belonging; and to support student health and well-being. The neighborhood meal program for the Dining Halls, The Row, Suites & Co-ops allow students the flexibility to eat across the campus to develop friendships within their neighborhood and throughout the university. Stanford strongly believes in community building over meals and the meal program allows students the ease and flexibility to make important connections and have great discussions over their meals.

We continue to adapt our operations in response to the latest COVID-19 guidance and regulations from the University and Santa Clara County and to focus primarily on the health, security, safety and well-being of our students who are on campus, and that of the dedicated Residential & Dining Enterprises (R&DE) Stanford Dining staff. We are adhering to county, state and university requirements for providing meals on campus, even as these stipulations continue to evolve. For some time, R&DE Stanford Dining has implemented enhanced cleaning, disinfecting, safety and sanitizing procedures in the dining halls. Our dining staff have received training and support concerning the steps they must take to prevent the spread of coronavirus. We work closely with Stanford Environmental Health & Safety to ensure we are following the proper protocols for our staff and the students we serve. For more details on these efforts, please see our CleanDining program. Isolation and quarantine meal delivery is available for students on campus who are not able to or should not visit the dining halls due to self-isolation requirements or illness. Students can reach out to their Residence Dean (RD) or Graduate Life Office (GLO) Dean to find out the procedure for isolation and quarantine meal delivery. We also invite Stanford students, faculty and staff to purchase take-out meals from the Axe & Palm, and groceries, grab-and-go meals and sundries from the Munger Market. 

R&DE Stanford Dining prides itself on providing high-quality and nutritious cuisine to meet the wide variety of dietary needs within our diverse Stanford community. The Eat Well @Stanford program is committed to supporting the welfare of the campus community and enhancing the development of lifelong eating practices that promote health and wellbeing. Students with special dietary considerations, such as food allergies or religious requirements, can receive assistance navigating their needs in the dining halls by contacting nutritionist@stanford.edu.

Sustainability is a core value of R&DE, and despite the substantial challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic continues to place on foodservice operations and supply chains, Stanford Dining is committed to pursuing bold action to address climate change and support Stanford’s commitment to become a zero-waste campus by 2030. When it comes to long-term strategies in sustainability, there is no imperative as important to address as climate change. Our strategy to climate-smart dining is rooted in the resounding message from climate scientists, that our actions to address the climate emergency must be exponential in nature; we are past the time when incremental change is enough. We see tremendous opportunities for climate action through our food program: leveraging our institutional purchasing power and collaborating with thought leaders in climate change research, and across business and industry. We are inspired by the groundswell of student support of this key subject and are grateful to partner with many subject matter experts around climate issues. We also recognize the power of creating delicious plant-forward menus and using more biodiverse and regenerative agriculture ingredients. Our focus with the new One Plate, One Planet program and collaborations with Drawdown Labs and REGEN1, is to enhance and create a more impactful student dining experience for the health of our students and for the good of our planet.

To find the latest updates regarding Stanford’s response to COVID-19, visit healthalerts.stanford.edu. I encourage you to routinely visit R&DE’s COVID-19 response page for the most up-to-date information regarding dining hall locations, hours of operation and other pertinent details, including R&DE FAQs. 

We recognize the importance and essential role that R&DE Stanford Dining plays in building community and promoting the health and wellbeing of our students, and we take our responsibility very seriously. We thank you for your support and look forward to gathering and dining as a community on campus. You can reach our staff at diningplans@stanford.edu or leave us a comment, question or concern at rde.stanford.edu/rde-feedback.

Warmest wishes for your safety, security and well-being,

Eric Montell signature

Eric Montell
Executive Director
R&DE Stanford Dining