Location: Washington DC, US
Remember walking into your college dining hall and selecting your dinner from the different stations packed with food. Do you know what happened to the leftover food at the end of the night? In the US, 75% of college campuses throw away leftover food at the end of the day. That amounts to 22 million meals per year that go to waste. Every year in the US, 40% of all food goes to waste causing 25% of the country’s methane emissions. With 1 in 6 Americans unsure of where their next meal will come from, this is not only an environmental issue, but a social one as well. How could this food escape landfills and make it to people who need it?
The Campus Kitchens Project is an organization run by student volunteers who pick up cafeteria leftovers from high school and college campuses, as well as food from grocery stores, food banks, local farms and farmers’ markets. The volunteers prepare nutritious meals using donated kitchen space and deliver them to organizations and low-income families or individuals. This program has the added benefit of giving students leadership opportunities and engaging them in community service that teaches them about environmental and social issues where they live.
During the 2013-2014 academic year, students with The Campus Kitchens Project saved 939,034 pounds of food to make 271,967 meals worth $1,256,980. They currently operate on 42 campuses across the country with 19,363 volunteers. The Campus Kitchens Project is growing fast; the number of volunteers and amount of food recovered has more than doubled since last year. Does your high school or university have a Campus Kitchen?
Environmental impact: Reduced food waste, reduced landfills & avoided methane emissions
Measurement: The Campus Kitchens Project
Looking to discover more impact ventures? Join us at www.groundupproject.net