Culver school starts program to reduce food waste and feed hungry people

Culver school starts program to reduce food waste and feed hungry people. // WSBT 22 Photo

Every day leftovers are thrown in the trash, and every day there are people who go hungry.

A senior at Culver Academies is hoping to change that.

Culver has started a new food waste program.

The school had been composting food waste, but their sustainability director admits that wasn't working so well.

They may have found a solution thanks to one of their students.

"Just because you're 18 doesn't mean that you can't feed people,” said Charles Mahoney, Culver senior.

For years Mahoney ate dinner at the Lay Dining Center and something didn't sit right with him. The fact that so much food seemed to be wasted.

"You'll literally just see food, uneaten food going past you in large amounts, it's kind of obvious,” said Mahoney.

So this became his senior service project.

"We're averaging 92 meals a day. We've gotten 741 in the last eight days,” said Mahoney.

Five days a week, dining hall staff work with student waiters to turn leftover food into microwaveable meals that go to places like Meals on Wheels and the Culver Food Pantry.

"We'll do some green beans on the other side, and that way it's a balanced meal," said Cindy Good, line server

Good has worked at the dining hall for four years and knows first-hand how much food Culver has to give.

"We don't like throwing food away. We're very aware of how much food we have," said Good.

She also knows how much these meals mean to those who need them.

"I've actually talked to some of the people that have gotten the meals and they've been over the moon with them,” said Good.

Here at Culver they've learned food waste is a problem in every community.

"I had done a lot of research on food sustainability in African countries like Tanzania through the world food prize. I realized there's a lot of those same problems here just on a different level or you don't see it as often. I decided how can I make that kind of difference in this community,” said Mahoney.

"Our globe on a daily basis produces enough food to feed 10 billion people. We only have about 7, 7.5 people on the planet and a billion of those people are hungry,” said Culver Sustainability director Chris Kline.

Now it's one billion minus one.

Culver Academies worked with the Marshall County Food Policy Council to make sure the packaging followed all regulations.

Culver has also partnered with a local dairy farm to repurpose its food scraps into energy.

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