On Monday, the dining hall measured the amount of food wasted by students during peak dining hours, and recorded that 220 pounds were wasted at that time.
On Wednesday and Thursday, MASSPIRG volunteers and interns will be in the dining hall prompting students to think twice about taking that second sandwich – because every pound of food saved in our dining hall against that Monday baseline will help feed a hungry and homeless individual this month.
If, over those two days, students are successful in reducing their waste, dining services will donate food to Our Father’s Table; the more clean plates returned to the dish rack, the more food that is donated to help feed our city’s most vulnerable residents. That’s why it’s called the “Clean Plate Project.”
The goal is for every student to take only what they need to eat, and to return their plates clean to the kitchen. All plates that are not clean must be emptied into the trash barrel by the return station, where MASSPIRG and dining service employees will be measuring the waste against Monday’s baseline. The cleaner plates, the less waste, the more food donated to those in need.
So when students go to take that second sandwich or that extra helping of mashed potatoes, MASSPIRG wants them to ask, “Are you really going to eat it?” Whatever students don’t end up eating subtracts from the total amount of food donated to the hungry.
On Wednesday and Thursday, MASSPIRG tables inside of the dining hall will offer more information about this initiative and opportunities to volunteer to help with their Hunger and Homelessness campaign.