According to the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC), up to 40 percent of the food in the United States is never eaten, but at the same time, one in eight Americans struggles to put enough food on the table.
With that in mind, the offices of Campus Ministry and Social Action, Student Engagement, Multicultural Center, Event Services, Residence Life, the Dean of Students, and Gourmet Dining are collaborating to counteract food waste on campus, after catered events are finished on campus. Throughout the academic year, the College hosts more than 100 events with some sort of accompanying food and drink, whether it’s something as simple as a cookie platter, or a more elaborate spread that includes sandwiches, salads and heavy hors d'oeuvres.
Using their respective Twitter and Instagram platforms, the groups are using the hashtag #JaspersFoodShare to tell students when and where they can pick up some food after an event, typically in the afternoon, to either eat in the moment or take back to their rooms to save for later.
“There is an ongoing issue of lots of leftover food going to waste at different events on campus,” said Lois Harr, Director of Campus Ministry and Social Action and an assistant vice president at the College. “And we know that college students can always use a meal or a snack!”
As the College’s Student Government becomes more involved, the Student Life divisions will encourage students to use the hashtag to share the news of extra food and become more aware of food waste in their own lives and communities.