Food Recovery Program
Uneaten food not purchased by individuals at dining establishments on the UMSL campus is weighed and then sent to a local food pantry to help those in need.
Members of neighboring communities are able to get food that would otherwise be thrown out and wasted. Based on our records, by making these donations, the University of Missouri – St. Louis was able to divert 4,098.676 lbs of food from the landfill and into the hands of those in need.
Beginning in January of 2015, 3R’s Specialists (student workers) from the UMSL Sustainability Office began weighing the food collected by the UMSL Dining Services team. UMSL Dining Services – Sodexo had been donating to local food pantry for some time, but we wanted to assist them to capture the data in order to report on the measurables. The poundage of the items is collected into a spreadsheet, and in addition to weights taken by students, the records of previous donations from the year 2014 were also analyzed so we now have a concrete number to report. The information is also reported to the EPA’s Food Recovery Network.
MISTAKES & LESSONS LEARNED
Finding students to work over the summer has been a challenge, so we stopped weighing during the summer sessions. In the future, we’ll be sure to have a 3R’s Specialist on hand during May-August to assist with this.
The UMSL Sustainability Office hopes to not only continue to monitor the donations made by UMSL’s Dining Services team, but also to use this information to justify a future composting program on campus which would help us to divert even more items from the landfill.