At some point during the year, 38 million Americans ask themselves, “how will I eat today?” With more than 63 million tons of food thrown in the trash each year, it only seems responsible to question why is there so much hunger?
Agriculture students from Wilmington College (Ohio) have answered the call. Under the leadership of Corey Cockerill, PhD, and Michael Snarr, PhD, 20 young leaders traveled to Washington DC to learn from experts at the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Foundation for Food and Agriculture (FFAR), Food Rescue US and Canada’s Agriculture Department to come up with real world solutions to address global food waste.
Only 7% of the food thrown away is recovered to feed hungry people, and only 4% is composted. More than 50% of food waste ends up in landfills where it generates methane. Food waste contributes 8-10% of the total amount of methane produced in America.
Wilmington College has a long history of addressing hunger through agriculture, but this new challenge has changed the way students and faculty think about and address inequalities in their community.
Corey Cockerill shares that Wilmington College will begin to recover two tons of food waste per month from their dining hall in the next few months, significantly reducing the food waste generated on campus.
Students plan to return to campus with a renewed sense of duty to recover food from local vendors and get that food to their local pantry, Your Father’s Kitchen. Additionally, students plan to engage in a targeted and coordinated educational effort on campus and in the community.
In partnership with the Wasted Food Stops With Us campaign, students and faculty at Wilmington College will have access to the resources developed by WFSWU so that they can educate their community on ways to reduce food waste and advocate for a more efficient food system.