HE-SL Listserv

On-Campus Food Recovery Efforts

Posted on February 18, 2020

A recent posting on the HE-SL (Higher Education-Service Learning) Listserv expressed an interest in learning about robust on-campus food recovery efforts. Here are some responses:

Craig at Eastern Washington University writes, “We have just begun doing this.  Our dinning folks have been willing to identify food that is still safe if repackaged and refrigerated/frozen.  They have also made it clear that they cannot do the repackaging or pay for the packaging materials, which I understand.  We have begun recruiting student volunteers to go to dinning location as they close to get the food set aside and then repackage and store in our central food pantry.  It is early, but so far so good.  One thing we have run into is that some of the contracts our dinning has with vendors doesn’t allow for food reclamation.  Also, we do not contract out our entire food service program to Sodexho or another company, but instead run our dinning in house.  This might make a huge difference in whether or not you can get off the ground. I encourage you to reach out to The Hope Center to see what resources they have related to this as well.  They might be able to connect you with other institutions that have successfully done this.  https://hope4college.com/

The University of Arkansas‘s Volunteer Action Center has a very robust food recovery program. They recover food from our dining halls, campus retail locations, and Greek houses, and I’m sure others. Here’s the website for a lot of good info: https://volunteer.uark.edu/programs/razorback-food-recovery/

At CSU (CA State University) Fullerton we have an phone app that we utilize. At the end of an event on campus we use the app to send out a notice to students that that opted to participate. The notice lets them know that there is free food available, the location and the time frame, with a beginning and end. It has proven to be a simple and successful tool.





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