Local colleges are well-schooled in vegan dining options

VILLANOVA UNIVERSITY received the highest ranking in Pennsylvania when youth-oriented animal-activism site Peta2 graded school dining programs across the U.S. Here are snapshots of other notable programs in our area:

University of Pennsylvania: Brianna Krejci of the Penn Vegan Society pointed out 1920 Commons, a dining hall with a dedicated vegan station and various vegan options. "The kosher dining hall, Falk, always has excellent vegan options and an incredible salad bar," she added. Beefsteak restaurant inside Houston Hall is "very [vegan and] vegetable-centric."

Peta2 Grade: A

Temple University: Campus dietitian Justin Heaton shared that Temple has one all-vegan station in Johnson & Hardwick's Louis J. Esposito Dining Hall featuring tofu scramble and/or hot quinoa breakfasts, vegan stir fries and vegan tacos. The all-vegetarian station also often features vegan items, and vendor Happy Hippy offers a range of vegan items in the Student Center at 13th and Montgomery.

Peta2 Grade: B

Community College of Philadelphia: Chef Andrew Boxer says the school recently added more tofu options at its central Pavilion Cafe, including marinated tofu at the salad bar several times a week (and by request any time) and as an option in stir fries.

Peta2: Not Ranked

Drexel University: This week, Aramark took over the Drexel dining program. Spokeswoman Karen Cutler noted that among Aramark's 500 higher-education programs, "over the past few years, we have introduced more ... vegan and vegetarian entrees." Aramark is working with the American Heart Association on "Healthy for Life® 20 by 20" to reduce calories, saturated fat and sodium levels 20 percent, and increase fruits, vegetables and whole grains 20 percent across all its menus by 2020.

Peta2 Grade: B

Bryn Mawr College: When asked what other area school was stepping up the most with plant-based options, Villanova University Dining Services Director Tim Dietzler pointed to Bryn Mawr. In addition to nondairy milk and at least one vegan entree at every meal, the college promotes vegan options, has a vegan member on its student advisory board and participates in Meatless Mondays.

Peta2 Grade: A

Philadelphia University: Has at least one vegan entree at every meal, offers nondairy milk and has a vegan-friendly "Crunch" station at Ravenhill Dining Hall.

Peta2 Grade: A

La Salle: Offers at least one vegan-labeled entree with every meal, and offers nondairy milk.

Peta2 Grade: B

- Vance Lehmkuhl