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Healthy Meetings and Events

The University is committed to creating and sustaining a healthful, safe and inspiring place to live, work and study. The UC Berkeley Healthy Meeting & Event Guide represents a step toward that commitment by ensuring faculty, staff and students have access to healthy food and beverage choices at all campus-supported events serving refreshments. 

Food & Beverage Choices Policy

This policy establishes nutrition standards for retail food service and markets, vending machines, Athletic concessions, and University-sponsored meetings and events to ensure accessibility of whole and fresh foods, provide healthier alternatives to sugar-sweetened beverages, and engage positive communications promoting healthier choices. 

It states that all university meetings and events with food or drink should include some nutritious and sustainable choices as outlined in the Healthy Meeting & Event Guide below.  

UC Berkeley Healthy Meeting Guide

UC Berkeley is committed to ensuring healthier food and beverage options are available at campus meetings and events. The UC Berkeley Healthy Meeting & Event Guide provides you with guidance on including healthier food choices (whether you are using catering services, shopping at local stores, or hosting a potluck), tips to include activity breaks to help make meetings more productive and additional resources for event planners. This latest version was created in 2018. 

Eat Well Berkeley Catering Program

Find the list of participating caterers featuring healthy menu items and links to their menus. 

Shopping Lists

For Berkeley Bowl, Trader Joe's, Safeway, and Whole Foods - These shopping lists give options for healthier foods that can be purchased at popular stores when providing refreshments at meetings and events. 

Cook Well Berkeley

Cook Well Berkeley provides healthy recipes, including potluck recipes such as the watermelon cake, and a handout for healthy celebrations or potlucks. 

Activity Breaks for Meetings & Events

The Activity Breaks page provides numerous resources for event planners, as well as anyone fitting activity and relaxation breaks into their day. Get specific tips, exercises, and videos for:

  • Standing breaks for all types of meetings
  • Stretch breaks
  • Breathing/relaxation breaks
  • Movement breaks, including Instant Recess
  • Walking breaks, including walk 'n talk meetings

Lactation Room for Participants or Speakers

Meeting organizers can refer requests for the use of a lactation room to the Breastfeeding Support Program to register for access.

Sustainable and Just Catering

Networking Resources for Campus Event Planners

  • Berkeley Events Network (BEN) - BEN is a professional networking group that provides information on resources, tips, and policies of interest to UC Berkeley event planners. To subscribe to the listserv, send an email to: berkeleyeventsnetwork-subscribe@yahoogroups.com.

For Team Retreats

Be Well at Work Wellness Program can help you plan a healthy retreat by providing planning consultation or an instructor-led activity break. We also offer a hands-on cooking workshop for small groups of 10-12.

Contact us at (510) 643-4646 or Wellnessfacstaff@berkeley.edu.  

Food Recovery

Food Recovery Program

If you have hosted a meeting or an event with excess food, there are two options to ensure the food does not go to waste:

  1. If the food has been already partially served or was on a buffet, you should not bring it to the pantry. You can, however, open up to the community around you as long as it has been at room temperature for under 2 hours (between 41 and 135˚F). We recommend bringing the food to a more public space and identifying a lead to keep track of time and clean up. Invite nearby staff and students to partake up until the 2-hour mark, at which point the food is no longer safe to serve and should be refrigerated or thrown out. 
  2. The Food Pantry can receive prepared or packaged food that meets the following food safety requirements: 
  • Temperature Control: food stored at proper temperatures (under 41˚F or over 135˚F) and has been at room temperature (between 41 and 135˚F) for no more than 2 hours.
  • Transit time: The food is in transit for no more than 30 minutes.
  • Preparation: Food that has been partially served or on a buffet can not be recovered in this process. Food that has been stored and wrapped and not put out can be recovered. 
  • Dietary restrictions: food is labeled with any known common allergens (gluten, nuts, etc.) and is labeled if it is vegan, vegetarian, or contains meat.
  • Labeling: please let us know where the food is coming from and when it was produced. 

The Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act of 1996 exempts those who make donations of food and grocery products in good faith to nonprofit organizations (including UC Berkeley) that feed people who are hungry from liability for injuries arising from the consumption of donated food. 

How to donate food:

Drop off food during Pantry open hours. Provide full details to the volunteer on duty; state who you are, where the food is from, when it was prepared, and how long it has been at room temperature. It will then be weighed and refrigerated.  

Location: MLK Student Union # 68, B-North (enter on Lower Sproul, across from Cesar Chavez and down the stairs/elevator).  

Hours: Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 10 AM – 7 PM; Tuesday and Friday: 11:30 AM – 7 PM; Saturday and Sunday: 10 AM – 2 PM.

Contact the Basic Needs Food Manager at nsemeraro@berkeley.edu for support with logistics and food recovery laws. Or Patrick Kaulback for any food safety concerns.