Hathaway Brown's Dining Services program has consistently received the highest praise. HB scored grades of A+ in 2008 and 2009 and a 99 percent rating in 2010 and 2012 for food and physical safety.
The program serves 1,000 people - including students and faculty in kindergarten through 12th grade - every day in the bright, airy, and spacious 300-seat, 4,318-square-foot Margery Stouffer Biggar '47 and Family Dining Hall. The 3- and 4-year-olds in HB's Early Childhood program eat family style in their own cheerful dining facility, which boasts toddler-scale furnishings.
Most notable about HB's Dining Services is its commitment to offering a wide assortment of fresh, locally sourced foods. The school follows all of the guidelines of the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, a joint venture to combat childhood obesity created by the American Heart Association and the William J. Clinton Foundation.
In November 2011, teachers and administrators from around the country saw firsthand what a difference it can make when a Dining Services program commits to offering only fresh, healthy, and locally sourced food. More than 100 people from 20 independent schools in 10 states came to Hathaway Brown for Sustainability Through Strength, the school's second annual Education Innovation Summit. Attendees were treated to a hearty all-vegetarian menu of fruits, vegetables, proteins, and grains cultivated by responsible growers. The event's meals produced zero waste.
The 14 hardworking and dedicated members of the Dining Services staff oversee a remarkable array of healthy offerings that include:
- an ever-changing selection of hot entrees, with two or more choices (including vegetarian) each day.
- a beautiful salad bar stocked with fresh vegetables and fixings.
- a deli sandwich bar with lunch meats, toppings, condiments, whole-grain white bread and 100 percent whole wheat bread.
- a daily hot soup bar that includes a meat and vegetarian choice.
- a fresh fruit bar complete with apples, pears, bananas, and other seasonal items.
- a bagel and bread bar.
- a cold cereal bar.
- a fresh grain bar on Mondays.
Additionally, hot beverage service is available and students may choose from a selection of juices, water, or skim, 1 percent, or fat-free chocolate milks to drink.
HB's Dining Services team works closely with the school's Center for Sustainability to ensure that food and waste are properly recycled and menu items are provided through responsible farming techniques and reputable vendors. No trays are used by diners to cut down on the amount of serviceware to be stored and cleaned on a daily basis. All of the eggs come from cage-free chickens, and the fish and most of the vegetables are cultivated from sustainable farms. Precautions are in place for those who suffer from food allergies, with peanut butter served only in covered labeled containers away from the rest of the offerings. Gluten-free options also are available.
Lunch is provided for HB students as part of the school tuition. There are no menus to fill out, no lunch cards to buy. Students are encouraged to make healthy choices when selecting their meals and they are welcome to eat as much and whatever they'd like. Teachers in the younger grades sit with the students during lunch to demonstrate proper table etiquette and good manners.
Daily meals are served in stages and by division, with Primary School girls eating first. In addition to the healthy lunches served in the Dining Hall, the Upper School students are provided a la carte breakfast selections as part of their meal package, while students in the other divisions are offered morning or afternoon snacks in their classrooms. HB's Dining Services staff caters the majority of the school's events and receptions as well.
Food and drink options are present in other areas on HB's grounds as well. Outside of the HB Gymnasium, students are welcome to purchase beverages from two vending machines stocked with water, vitamin water, and replenishing sports drinks. No soda is available to students anywhere in the building. And in the Brown Bag, the campus bookstore, girls will find healthy snacks and drinks that meet the guidelines of the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, including breakfast bars, granola bars, and protein bars, as well as water, sports drinks, and juices. The Brown Bag is staffed by 30-40 parent volunteers and the store is open before school and after school each day. Students may use Snack Cards, available in $15 increments, to make their Brown Bag purchases.