Food Partnerships Operating Principles

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University of Toronto Scarborough Food Partnerships Operating Principles

Note: This document is in conjunction with the Food Partnerships Rules and Regulations.


Food is a daily necessity and also plays a role in bringing people and communities together. Eating together is the foundation of the cultural identity and continuity of communities. It is a moment of social exchange and communication, an affirmation and renewal of family, group or community identity. In Universities, food service areas are places where faculty, students and staff congregate, study and socialize, and where residential students and staff dine together like family members. Catering services are an integral part of celebrations and other special events, and are used to reward volunteers for their service and encourage membership in special interest groups and committees.

The University of Toronto Scarborough campus has many different food service operators who report to University of Toronto Scarborough Food Partnerships. Marketplace, Food outlets and Food Trucks provide daily meal plan or retail services; there are event-specific food services such as catering for special events, and there are temporary food services such as barbeques, bake sales and pot lucks, often organized by student groups. All conduct their activities in University buildings, and therefore affect the University’s reputation and liability.

The use of the term “food services” in this document refers to all professional food service activity, whether ongoing or event-specific, across the Scarborough campus. Professional operations are registered food service businesses with a contract with the University of Toronto. Temporary food service operations include one-time and casual events where a group (usually a student group) provides food in exchange for a fee. Student operations are registered food service operations which are run by a student union or group in a contracted space.

Food service is an important part of the campus experience and should reflect the diversity of the University community, and the University’s commitment to environmental sustainability. It is also an activity which carries significant health and financial risks, and must therefore be undertaken in a safe and responsible manner.

The purpose of these operating principles, and the accompanying rules and regulations, is to provide individuals involved in food, facility and/or event management with a set of guiding principles related to food services.

*Note: Herein, the terms “Food Partnerships” and “University of Toronto Scarborough Food Partnerships” refer to University of Toronto Food Partnerships on the Scarborough campus.


1.1) Service to the University community

University of Toronto Scarborough campus Food Partnerships’ primary mission is to provide service to the University of Toronto Scarborough community in the form of a variety of high-quality, cost-effective facilities and professional catering services, which are sensitive to community needs and preferences as well as the competitive environment. It ensures availability of nutritionally sound foods and reinforces healthy eating practices through education, outreach and labelling, and solicits and effectively responds to feedback from students, faculty and staff. Food Partnerships also operates meal plans based on the one-card system to ensure that nutritious food is conveniently available and easily accessible to all students while providing added value.

1.2) Temporary food services

Temporary food services refer to one-off events where food is served or sold to the community for various reasons including community building, raising awareness, and fundraising. Although the University recognizes that such events are important for students, these events are held on University property, and therefore, must abide by these operating principles due to food safety concerns. At these events, food may be catered by on campus caterers, off campus caterers, or prepared under the Safe Food Handling Guidelines.

The organizing parties must obtain the necessary approvals from Food Partnerships and other relevant departments before hosting the event.

2.1) Food Safety

To promote and maintain the well-being of its community members and guests, the University of Toronto Scarborough Food Partnerships will ensure that all food service operators comply with Federal, Provincial and Municipal standards related to safe food service operations, as outlined by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. In addition, only individuals who have successfully completed a Food Services safety training program approved by the University of Toronto shall be permitted to provide food services.

3.1) Operating Principles for University operations

All food service operations must follow sound business practices. Although an important part of campus life, food services should not be subsidized by the University’s operating budget. Food service operations must self-fund all direct and indirect costs of operation and reinvest any surpluses into facilities and non-revenue generating activities or programs which support these principles.

4.1) Environmental responsibility

University of Toronto Scarborough Food Partnerships are committed to environmentally friendly and sustainable practices in the areas of food procurement, waste management, energy consumption, water consumption, packaging, and food preparation while ensuring the benefit of the local community, remaining financially viable, and providing nutritious options for customers.

The success of sustainable initiatives relies on customer awareness. Therefore, food service providers at the University of Toronto Scarborough will focus on educating students, staff and faculty about sustainable practices and providing them with sustainable alternatives.

©2020, Food Partnerships, Scarborough Campus, University of Toronto