The Cookeville, Tenn., university is also the first in its state to receive the nonprofit’s designation. The University of California in Davis was certified in January, and Stanford University was the initial recipient last year.
“Tennessee Tech University and Chartwells share these goals and standards, which is why the REAL Certification is a perfect fit,” TTU’s Director of Dining Services, Sam Holm, said in a statement. “Students are the reason we are here. Whether feeding students’ bodies to perform in athletics or feeding students’ minds to maximize their education, offering safe, nutritious foods is how we help students reach their goals.”
In order to become REAL certified, operators must complete requirements and earn sufficient points in the following areas: Responsible (nutrition), Epicurean (preparation), Agricultural (sourcing) and Leadership (going above and beyond). Since it was founded in 2011, the organization has certified college dining services, restaurants and corporate cafes in over 30 states.