University of New Haven Takes Lead in Reducing Food Waste
In an effort to decrease food waste and help address food insecurity in the greater New Haven area, the University of New Haven is partnering with Haven's Harvest, a nonprofit organization, to distribute unused food to local residents in need.
September 27, 2019
By Laura Miller, Director of Energy and Sustainability
When the University of New Haven's on-campus dining locations are closing for the evening, staff members sort through the food items that were not served.
To help reduce the amount of waste – and to assist residents in need in the local community – the University of New Haven's Office of Energy and Sustainability, in collaboration with Sodexo, is establishing a relationship with Haven's Harvest, a local organization that works to ensure unused food gets to those in need in the greater New Haven area.
A staggering 22 percent of New Haven residents face food insecurity, and Haven's Harvest has developed relationships between restaurants, dining halls, and grocery stores that have excess food, and shelters, soup kitchens, and service-based organizations where this food can be distributed.
"By using food more efficiently, we are reducing the environmentally damaging practices that come from producing food and the amount of waste created when it goes unused."Laura Miller
The University of New Haven began working with Haven's Harvest in the spring of 2019 by donating leftover food from dining halls to the organization. Moving forward, the Office of Energy and Sustainability aims to make these donations more regularly, providing the organizations with food on a weekly basis. Not only will this be beneficial to the local community, it will also help to reduce food waste that would otherwise end up in the campus waste stream.
Globally, food production is the number one contributor to carbon emissions. Food production is also responsible for a great amount of deforestation and aquatic pollution. By using food more efficiently, we are reducing the environmentally damaging practices that come from producing food and the amount of waste created when it goes unused.
Overall, the University of New Haven is looking forward to building a closer relationship with Haven's Harvest, and to creating an environment in which we can partner with the local community to fight for both food justice and environmental justice.
A group of University of New Haven students spend their spring break volunteering with Haven's Harvest. Read more about their work.