How to Reduce Campus Food Waste

By Bendici, Ray | University Business, October 2016 | Go to article overview

How to Reduce Campus Food Waste


Bendici, Ray, University Business


More than 22 million pounds of uneaten food is thrown away on college campuses each year, according to Food Recovery Network, a student-driven nonprofit dedicated to reducing food waste and hunger at higher education institutions.

A single college student generates an average 142 pounds of food waste per year, according to Recycling Works, a Massachusetts recycling assistance program.

To help mitigate the issue on campuses and beyond, the federal Good Samaritan Act was amended a few years ago to limit food donor liability so certain uneaten items can now be given to those in need, rather than ending up landfills.

In addition to the Food Recovery Network, The Campus Kitchens Project, started in 2001 by the nonprofit D.C. Central Kitchen, now has 42 chapters and recruits college students to retrieve uneaten food from cafeterias and deliver it to community organizations focused on eliminating food insecurity. The organization also uses food waste for composting or to feed farm animals.

Raising awareness among students and campus administrators is critical for change to happen, says Regina Northouse, executive director of the Food Recovery Network, which has chapters at 200 colleges across the U. …

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