Kennesaw State University recognized as an innovator for its “Farm-to-Fit” program

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Kennesaw State University recognized as an innovator for its “Farm-to-Fit” program…

Georgia (Mar 19, 2014)Kennesaw State University recognized as an innovator for its “Farm-to-Fit” program

Culinary and Hospitality Services nominated for second consecutive year by National Restaurant Association

KENNESAW, Ga. (March 14, 2014) — Kennesaw State University’s Culinary and Hospitality Services has been named one of three finalists for the 2014 Operator Innovation Awards in Health and Nutrition by the National Restaurant Association (NRA). The nomination comes one year after the University was named “2013 Innovator of the Year” by the organization.  

Last year, Kennesaw State received the Operator Innovation Award for Sustainability for its “Farm-to-Campus-to-Farm” program. The University went on to claim the top prize — Innovator of the Year — the first time an educational institution had been selected to receive the prestigious industry award, besting organizations including Walt Disney Parks and Resorts and the U.S. Air Force.

“We are honored to be nominated for the OI awards this year, and especially proud to receive the nomination two years in a row,” said Gary Coltek, director of Culinary and Hospitality Services, which manages all food service operations at Kennesaw State. “The college and university food service sector is trending toward more traditional restaurant practice; the NRA is an excellent resource for information and is helping to raise awareness of the positive changes in campus dining.”

In naming the University’s “Farm-To-Fit” program as a finalist in this year’s competition, the NRA cited: “This campus dining program encompasses all aspects of healthy living, starting with the nutritional improvement of food grown on campus farms by increasing their nutrient-density, to thoughtful menu creation and preparation, to programming designed to encourage healthy lifestyle choices.”

The Operator Innovation Award winners are selected by an independent panel of foodservice operator experts from across the industry. This is the third annual award program. Three finalists in five distinct categories – Marketing, Health and Nutrition, Menu Development, Sustainability and Technology – will be brought to Chicago for the 2014 National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show in May. The winners in each category will be announced at a celebration gala on May 17.

This recognition is the latest in a string of accolades for Kennesaw State’s Culinary and Hospitality Services. In 2013, it received the prestigious Loyal E. Horton Award for Residential Dining Concepts from the National Association of College and University Food Services (NACUFS). In addition, the University was ranked fourth by in its 2013 Best College Dining Halls list and eighth by the Daily Meal is its 2013 list of 60 Best Colleges for Food in America.

The National Restaurant Association is the largest foodservice trade association in the world, supporting nearly 500,000 restaurant businesses. The NRA represent and advocate for foodservice industry interests with state, local and national policymakers, provide tools and systems that help members achieve significantly better operating results, offer networking, education and research resources.

For more information about Kennesaw State University’s Culinary and Hospitality Services, click here:


A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its nearly 43,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit