Students look to lower food waste

Community Kitchen and Food Rescue both based at Allegheny, are looking to reduce waste and help out the less fortunate by supplying leftover food from Parkhurst to those in need. The leftovers are distributed to several area locations including the Crawford County Mental Health Awareness Program (CHAPS), Meadville Women’s shelter, the Saint James and the local soup kitchen.

Community Kitchen was an idea that began last year and recently began to gain momentum. Headed by Brett Fuchs, ’10, Community Kitchen is an effort to collect leftovers from McKinley’s and Brooks that has not been put out on the line yet. Food is boxed up and brought down town to the places in need.

Future visions include individual boxed meals put together by students of the organization to be donated all ready to go. Fuchs stressed how cooperative the Parkhurst employees and administration have been in getting this group off the ground.

“Parkhurst has been completely on board and very helpful,” Fuchs said.

According to Fuchs, the Good Samaritan Law prohibits food that has been out on the line from being donated because of concerns regarding contamination and liability. But another group of students has been working to get around this law.

Sandra Wayman, ’09, who graduated this past semester and is now working in Costa Rica, was the first to notice the large amount of wasted food after helping with the International Dinner her freshman year.

“As an ESci major, this struck me as a horrible waste, because I was learning about all the energy that goes into producing food: growing it, fertilizing it, transporting it across the country,” Wayman said.

Wayman would hang around after food events with containers in her bag, grab anything that was left over and donate it to the Women’s Shelter downtown. Now a group consisting of about 20, headed by Emma Dosch, ’13, Sylvia Kauffman, ’10, and Katrin Fabian, ’10, follow Wayman’s example only on a larger scale.

“It is going to be thrown away, so I take it, it’s mine, and I want to donate it.” Dosch said, on her philosophy leading Food Rescue.

The group collects as much as they can, sometimes only a few containers food, but sometimes many pounds are gathered for donation.

Both Community Kitchen and Food Rescue plan on growing in numbers, as well as in impact. The Good Samaritan Law tries to keep some food from being given away, but a few “Good Samaritans” at Allegheny are working to give what they can.