Each year, the average college student wastes 142 pounds of food. That’s a lot of discarded cafeteria food. But an organization called the Food Recovery Network has quickly cut into the waste and is getting it to people who really need it all over the country. The FRN actually began as an art project by an undergraduate named Ben Simon at the University of Maryland, but it is now 100 chapters strong and has already collected and distributed 640,000 pounds of food to agencies dedicated to feeding the hungry.
The Food Recovery Network is not the only way schools are combating student food waste. For example, according to a new report from NPR, Loyola University in Chicago has started experimenting with trayless dining, which encourages students not to take more than they can carry and has lead to a 25 percent reduction in food waste.
So the next time you see a hungry college student loading up his tray with that second cheesesteak, tell him to ask himself if he’s really going to finish all that. He can probably get to the freshman 15 without it.