VOLUME 13, NO. 2 NOVEMBER 2000
Each academic year about 91,000 pounds of food goes to waste at WPI. An imaginative effort is reducing that waste, at the same time benefiting the Worcester community. Since the Hunger Campaign Clean Plate Award was inaugurated in August 1999, students who eat everything on their plates have been given small prizes, such as candy bars or coupons for free beverages. Winners' names are entered into a raffle for bigger prizes such as CD players, color printers or Palm Pilots(TM).
The program focuses on the dining facilities in Morgan and Founders halls that serve students on the meal plan. It was developed by Lindsay Freed, last year's WPI Massachusetts Campus Compact Volunteer in Service to America, and Joseph Kraskouskas, director of dining services at WPI for Chartwells, with assistance from members of Alpha Phi Omega service fraternity.
Each week that food reduction goals were met, Chartwells contributed the equivalent of those savings (minus the costs of the student prizes) to a local food bank. Within the first few weeks of last year's program, food waste declined nearly 30 percent and the company donated 300 pounds of flour to Rachel's Table, a local nonprofit food clearinghouse.
"By the end of D-Term '00, the campaign reached its second goal: a 40 percent reduction in food waste," says Kraskouskas. "One lucky student was awarded a color printer and 135 dozen eggs were donated to Rachel's Table. This year, the program will be offered beginning in January 2001. What's most exciting is that Chartwells has made our campaign a mandatory program for all its units."
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