Evaluation of a sustainable student-led initiative on a college campus addressing food waste and food insecurity

Authors

  • Kendra OoNorasak University of Kentucky
  • Makenzie L. Barr University of Kentucky https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6332-215X
  • Michael Pennell University of Kentucky
  • Jordan Hinton University of Kentucky
  • Julia Garner University of Kentucky
  • Cora Kerber University of Kentucky
  • Celia Ritter University of Kentucky
  • Liana Dixon University of Kentucky
  • Cana Rohde University of Kentucky
  • Tammy J. Stephenson University of Kentucky

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.5304/jafscd.2022.114.014

Keywords:

Food Waste, Food Recovery, Universities, Higher Education, Food Insecurity, Social-Ecological Model

Abstract

Food waste and food insecurity present a troubling paradox found across the globe, in local communi­ties, and on college campuses. The Campus Kitch­en at the University of Kentucky (CK) is a student-led, sustainability-focused service organiza­tion in the Feeding America Network that can serve as a local food waste checkpoint in the south­east region of the United States and address com­munity and campus food insecurity through com­munity-build­ing activities. Farm-to-Fork (F2F), a free weekly meal and education program of CK, provides a case study of leveraging existing resources like student volunteers, CK infrastruc­ture, and campus partners to address college food insecurity. In this case study, we evaluate the pilot model of CK and its F2F Program. The data gath­ered consist of the amount of food recovered, the number of meals prepared and distributed, and demographics and behavioral perceptions of col­lege students attend­ing F2F. From August 2018 to December 2019, CK food recovery and meal data were collected and an F2F cross-sectional student survey (N=284) was administered twice. The pro­gram develop­ment, implementation, and evaluation of F2F relies on the social -ecological model (SEM) to capture and highlight the complicated issues of food waste and food insecurity, and the layered approach any initiative addressing such issues must take. Ulti­mately, F2F highlights how programs such as CK can expand their missions of reducing food waste and food insecurity in communities and on college campuses. CK’s economically and envi­ronmentally sustainable practices can be built upon to improve the diversion of food waste and use socially inclu­sive approaches to provide healthy meals and resources to populations experiencing challenges with food insecurity, both on and off campus, as well as educate all those involved. In turn, such an initiative highlights the need to move beyond stopgap measures, such as food pantries, in both community and campus programs targeting food waste and food insecurity. 

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Author Biographies

Kendra OoNorasak, University of Kentucky

MS, RD, LD; Director of Community Outreach, Department of Dietetics and Human Nutrition, College of Agriculture, Food and Environment

Makenzie L. Barr, University of Kentucky

PhD, RDN; Assistant Professor, Department of Dietetics and Human Nutrition, College of Agriculture, Food and Environment

Michael Pennell, University of Kentucky

PhD; Associate Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies, Department of Writing, Rhetoric, & Digital Studies, College of Arts and Sciences

Jordan Hinton, University of Kentucky

Undergraduate dietetics student, Department of Dietetics and Human Nutrition, College of Agriculture, Food and Environment

Julia Garner, University of Kentucky

BS; Undergraduate nutrition student, Depart­ment of Dietetics and Human Nutrition, College of Agricul­ture, Food and Environment

Cora Kerber, University of Kentucky

BS; AmeriCorps VISTA, Department of Dietetics and Human Nutrition, College of Agriculture, Food and Environment

Celia Ritter, University of Kentucky

BA; AmeriCorps VISTA, Department of Dietetics and Human Nutrition, College of Agriculture, Food and Environment

Liana Dixon, University of Kentucky

MPH; Graduate assistant, Department of Health Management and Policy, College of Public Health

Cana Rohde, University of Kentucky

RD; Undergraduate dietetics student, Depart­ment of Dietetics and Human Nutrition, College of Agricul­ture, Food and Environment. Cana Rohde is now at Cedar Lake, Inc.

Tammy J. Stephenson, University of Kentucky

PhD, FAND; Professor and Chair, Department of Dietetics and Human Nutrition, College of Agriculture, Food and Environment

Published

2022-08-30

How to Cite

OoNorasak, K., Barr, M., Pennell, M., Hinton, J., Garner, J., Kerber, C., Ritter, C., Dixon, L., Rohde, C., & Stephenson, T. (2022). Evaluation of a sustainable student-led initiative on a college campus addressing food waste and food insecurity. Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development, 11(4), 1–15. https://doi.org/10.5304/jafscd.2022.114.014

Issue

Section

Open Call Paper