Central New York, Community, Consumer, dining hall, food

Student-Run Network Delivers Food To Local Charitable Organizations

The Food Recovery Network collects extra food at dining halls on Syracuse University campus. (c ) 2018 Brenda Koopsen

Click the play button above to learn about two possible solutions that can reduce excess food waste.

Audio Transcript: Food Waste

By Brenda Koopsen SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) – The extra food cooked at the popular restaurant downtown often goes to waste at the end of the day. One student-run organization fights the issue of excess food waste by collecting food from Syracuse University and SUNY ESF dining halls and cafes.

The Food Recovery Network collects already cooked and healthy meals, according to Harris Eisenhardt with the Food Recovery Network.

“And that includes essentially everything they aren’t going to throw out that night so we get left-over bagels, baked goods, all sorts of grains, rice, meats, pasta dishes, dessert, soups, salads, things like that,” Eisenhardt said.

The food transported from SU and SUNY ESF goes to local agencies such as The Salvation Army, Eisenhardt shared.

Economics is an essential part of food redistribution, according to Eisenhardt. The Food Recovery Network makes a lasting impact on local agencies when they can provide assistance that would have otherwise been an expense, he noted.

Syracuse University dining halls has its own system of composting. (c) 2018 Brenda Koopsen

“A lot of the agencies certainly alleviate some stress when they don’t have to prepare that many more meals,” Eisenhardt said.

Since the organization’s start in 2014, the Food Recovery Network experienced one of its most successful collection periods last semester, according to Eisenhardt.

“We recovered approximately 30,000 pounds of food last academic year,” Eisenhardt said. “And, if you break it down by recovery, it’s probably about 100 pounds on average… a little less.”

The organization picked up its largest collection at Ernie Davis Dining Hall, Eisenhardt shared.

“The most we’ve ever gotten in a single recovery was close to 400 pounds.”