Dining tray return

A dining commons tray full of still edible food is transported down the tray return belt to be disposed.

Penn State clubs will celebrate Food Waste Awareness Week starting March 27, with events on campus to inform students and create sustainable consumption habits.

Hosted by the Student Farm at Penn State, a screening of the film “Wasted! The Story of Food Waste,” produced by chef Anthony Bourdain, will be held at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, March 27 in the HUB-Robeson Center’s Freeman Auditorium.

“We chose to host the Wasted film screening to draw attention to just how much food is wasted locally and globally and the negative impacts it has on our world,” said Olivia Hort, a communications intern for the Student Farm at Penn State.

Hort (senior-public relations) said on average people waste about one-third of the food on their plates. She said she hopes the film will help students to think about just how much food they waste, as well as give them ideas on how to waste less.

The second event is called “Food for Thought,” and it will be held at 6 p.m. on Thursday, March 29 at MorningStar Solar Home across from Beaver Stadium. It will feature a dinner made with food that otherwise would have been thrown away, vegan and vegetarian options.

The cost of the dinner will be $3 and the food will be provided by Stage College locals Taproot Kitchen and RE Farm.

“We're always thrilled to work with those who share common goals in events such as ‘Food for Thought,’” Sharon Schafer, owner of Taproot Kitchen, said.

Schafer will also be a speaker at the event, as well as Monica Gastiger from RE Farm Cafe.

Food for Thought will be co-hosted by the Student Farm at Penn State, Eco-Action, Healthy PSU and the PSU Vegetarian Club.

Haley Stauffer, events planner for Eco-Action, said the organization’s mission with Food for Thought is “empowering students to be activists for change.”

She said it’s a dinner that’s very “close to her heart,” as she started it last semester through Eco-Action.

She said food waste is a huge issue on Penn State's campus in particular.

“This event will enable students to learn and then be able to take action, feeling as though they can make an impact here at University Park,” Stauffer (junior-bio renewable systems) said.

The event will also feature live music and activities to teach attendees more ways to reduce food waste.

Erin Raupers, assistant director of Health Promotions and Wellness, said Healthy PSU chose to get involved because it fosters healthy eating with locally grown and sustainable foods.

“In Health Promotion and Wellness, we try to connect all aspects of health to show the full picture of wellness,” Raupers said via email. “Environmental is one aspect of wellness.”

Hort said she hopes students gain a better understanding of the severity of food waste, as well as feel empowered to make better decisions to reduce food waste and promote sustainability.

“The food is always delicious, and it's a wonderful way to support local farmers, try new dishes and meet others in the community,” Hort said.

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