When the campus dining hall closes for the night, what happens to the leftover food? As of now, it just gets thrown out. All that’s looking to change this year as Olivet and Sodexo are partnering with the Food Recovery Network to donate leftover food to local charities in the community.
According to a study from Ohio State University, a university dining hall throws away over 170,000 pounds of edible food every year. Because this number is so large, many people want to get involved and help others by donating that extra food. The Food Recovery Network is one of the organizations that is becoming increasingly involved with the donating.
The Food Recovery Network originated at the University of Maryland when three students noticed all the food from their cafeteria that was being thrown away at the end of the day. Coming together, they decided to save that food and give it to non-profit organizations around the area that needed it to help those who were hungry.
Tommy Lambrecht, Olivet student body president, says that he was approached by the General Manager of the Sodexo Team, Sam Cross. Cross partnered with Food Recovery Network in Wichita, and he plans to bring it to Olivet this year, hopefully within the next few weeks.
The Food Recovery Network has recovered over two million pounds of food in the last six years across their 230 chapters in the United States. Olivet hopes to add to those numbers when the recovery starts on campus.
When it does begin, this recovery will deal with the food that Sodexo would normally throw out at the end of the day. Any food that cannot be saved for the next day’s meals will be packed up by student volunteers and brought to an organization that can use it.
While some of the planning has been figured out thus far, the team is still in the process of finding a place, or multiple places, to donate the food.
“We are excited for this to officially launch,” Lambrecht said. When this does officially launch, the team hopes that students will be called to come and help; the more people that help, the more food can be saved and can be given to those that need it.