Gift Prompts Bates College to Explore Social Implications of Food Distribution

A $2.5-million gift to Bates College will give its students plenty of food for thought this year. The private college, in Lewiston, Me., plans to use the money to spur a yearlong examination of how Americans get their food and the social and economic implications of the food-distribution system.

The donation, given anonymously by an alumnus, established an endowment to buy and serve more local, organic, and natural food. The donor gave Bates the gift (plus another $2.5-million for