Date of Award

2015

Document Type

Thesis

Department

Environmental Studies

Thesis Advisor

William Shields

Keywords

volunteering, food distribution, campus food services, Dorothy Day House, Liberty Resources, Rescue Mission Alliance

Abstract

Hunger and food waste remain large and unsustainable issues across the Earth. On a college campus, this statement remains true. While Syracuse University (SU) and State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY ESF) compost pre and post-consumer food, plenty of the edible and perfectly presentable food could have been redistributed instead of composted or thrown out. In fact, over 125 college campuses across the United States participate in a non-profit organization designed to address local food waste and community hunger. This organization is called the Food Recovery Network (FRN). As the founder of the SUNY ESF and SU FRN Chapter, I, along with a group of committed student leaders, mobilized a student run organization on campus that redistributes food from the compost or landfill to the homeless and hungry in the Syracuse area. We recruited members and volunteers for this project, contacted local distributing partners, and coordinated with dining halls. What started as a couple nights a week at one SU dining hall and at a café at ESF became a daily pickup from that dining hall and a weekly pick up from two cafes. By the end of the fall semester, we redistributed about 2,000 pounds of food and by the end of the 2014- 2015 academic year, we recovered over 5,000 pounds of food. Hopefully, as this organization gains more presence on campus, it will continue to combat hunger and waste as well as contribute to both universities’ sustainability goals.