Food Recovery Programs (STARS)
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This post is related to STARS, AASHE's Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System.
This post is related to the American College & University Presidents' Climate Commitment (ACUPCC).
With the support of our Office of Sustainability and Dining Services, we (undergrad students) have started a food recovery program at the University of Maryland called the Food Recovery Network that picks up extra food from the campus dining halls, sports games and other venues. It has quickly grown to donating over 60 volunteers and 1,400 meals every week that would've been wasted.
Beyond providing thousands of meals to hungry men, women and children in our community, food recovery projects also help the environment by helping to close the loop on food waste, which is the single largest component of Municipal Solid Waste in America. Rotting food is a huge emitter of methane, which the EPA estimates to be 21 times more harmful towards global climate change than carbon dioxide. And out of the 68 billion pounds of food waste the US generates each year, only 2 billion pounds is recycled or recovered.
Good faith food donors are cleared from all liability and this project has saved UMD's Dining Services money, as being more conscious has resulted in decreased waste. The only expense of this program is the aluminum trays; for every $1.50 invested, 15 meals are recovered and donated. After the success of the Food Recovery Network at UMD, volunteers were asking, "How is this not at every campus?" In response, the founders at UMD have incorporated Food Recovery Network as a non-profit with the mission of exporting this great program to other colleges and universities across America, and recently started FRN at Brown, which donated 1,000 pounds of food in it's first two weeks.
We invite you to join the movement by starting a Food Recovery Network on your campus. Don't know where to start? The students from FRN at UMD can dish out advice to help you start a chapter. Whether you are a sustainability professional or a student, we would love to hear from you! Email us at email@example.com and check us out at http://www.foodrecoverynetwork.org/!
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