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COVID-19 Updates and Resources

Food Systems


Deborah Steinberg

2 East South Street

Galesburg, IL 61401-4999



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A view of the Gizmo patio from above.

Food plays a major role in the Knox community and Knox is committed to a healthy, sustainable food system at every point from farm to fork and back to field.

The Knox Farm

Also referred to as the "high tunnel", this 3,000 sq ft structure is used to extend the growing season. The Knox Farm comprises the high tunnel as well as an outdoor space just west of the tunnel. A smaller high tunnel to the north, is used primarily for educational purposes, though the Knox Farm is also an opportunity for students to gain hands-on experience in production farming. The Farm produces food for on-campus use and for sharing with the community. For details and how to get involved, please visit the Knox Farm page.

Dining Services

Sustainability initiatives in dining services extend to Knox's residential, grab-n-go, and retail dining venues. From locally sourced produce and humanely raised meat to trayless dining, each level of the food system is examined to minimize waste.

Opportunities to get involved include:

  • Kitchen staff work with the campus-chapter of the Food Recovery Network to locally donate excess food.
  • Students receive a reusable clamshell for cafeteria carry out, which can be exchanged for a clean container at each meal.
  • Reusable mugs provide a discount on beverages at the Gizmo or grab-n-go locations.
  • Both the Out Post and Seymour grab-n-go cart will offer a discount for bringing a reusable bag. 


Composting is the process of allowing organic waste, such as leaves and food scraps, to break down and decompose. To close the loop of the Knox food system, food waste is collected for composting a few different ways on campus, allowing Knox to keep organic waste out of the landfill.

  • TUMBLERS - Compost tumblers are located near the residential dorms and available for anyone to add organic waste or to give a spin. These bins are considered "backyard composters" and can only break down food scraps such as fruit and vegetable peels.
  • GIZMO - One of the three waste bins located in the Gizmo is labeled as "Compost". All food and the majority of the dishes can be composted, but please review the signs carefully when throwing out your waste. Remember, student workers must go through these bags to ensure that any plastic or other landfill-only items are removed before we can process this waste into compost. 
  • HARD KNOX CAFE - Composting is easy in the Caf because all food waste can be composted! When you put your plate on the belt, the reusable items are cleaned to be used again, while the food and napkins travel through a pulper. All this organic waste is collected and processed with the other compost from the Gizmo.
  • SPECIAL EVENTS - The Office of Sustainability can provide clearly labeled waste stations that allow for the collection and composting of single-use dishware. The Catering division of Knox Dining Services is already aligned on these principles, and will be able to facilitate a low­ waste event. Contact the Office of Sustainability to request a waste station for your next special event.

After the compostable material has been processed, it is used by the Knox Farm and other local farmers to enrich the produce they grow, which may end up back at Knox to travel through the cycle again!

Galesburg Community Resources

Knox College

Printed on Wednesday, May 27, 2020