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Winning an award from the National Association of College & University Food Services (NACUFS) validates the hard work you and your staff do every day as you strive for excellence in collegiate dining. A NACUFS award sets you apart from other programs and raises awareness of your brand, both within your institution and externally. This recognition can help attract and retain great talent and eager customers.

As a NACUFS member, you will have opportunities to compete for, or be nominated for, prestigious awards in a variety of categories.

Culinary Challenge Awards

The Culinary Challenge recognizes the exceptional culinary expertise within collegiate dining. The Challenge is a live competition at the regional level with regional winners advancing to the National Conference where they will compete before a live audience.

Individual Awards

These distinguished awards honor individuals and organizations for their outstanding service to the association and its members. Categories include the Richard Lichtenfelt Award, Theodore W. Minah Distinguished Service Award, David R. Prentkowski Distinguished Lifetime Member Award, and Daryl Van Hook Industry Award.

Loyal E. Horton Dining Awards

Collegiate foodservice is a demanding profession – one worthy of recognition. In collegiate culinary arts, winning a Loyal E. Horton Award is the ultimate professional tribute.

Nutrition Awards

The Nutrition Awards recognize the outstanding nutrition and wellness programs implemented within our members' collegiate dining programs. Categories for 2024 include Special Diet Program of the Year, Special Diet Recipe of the Year, and Wellness and Nutrition Program of the Year. 

Sustainability Awards

The Sustainability Awards recognizes leadership in the promotion and implementation of environmental sustainability as it relates to campus dining operations. Categories include Sustainable Procurement, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion/Social Justice, Carbon Neutrality, and Waste Reduction.