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UNK takes on project to reduce food waste
You may not realize how much food we all waste on a daily basis.
Research shows in the United States twenty pounds of food is wasted per person every month.
At the local level News 5's Dara Newson shows us how the University of Nebraska at Kearney is taking action on its campus.
One by one students take a pledge to reduce the amount of food and liquid they take from the cafeteria.
"Sometimes our eyes are bigger than our stomach. You know we come in here and we're just super hungry and we see something that we want so we just pile it on not thinking that we might not eat that much," said Cornell Leffler.
Leffler is just one of many students who signed a pledge, vowing to be a little more waste conscious.
"I never really put into consideration how much it actually was and how much it added up," said Shelby Rust.
The Residence Hall Association and UNK Dining Services teamed up to create a sustainability program called "Project Clean Plate".
"Through this education week we hope that they'll start to be more aware of what they're taking when they are going through the lines or going through the drink station," said Residence Life Advisor Jen Kacere.
This week students are challenged to practice sampling before piling up.
Over the course of two days the sustainability committee and residence life tracked uneaten food.
They found during lunch and dinner combined over 1500 pounds of food and liquid was sent to the dump.
The goal is to reduce 87 pounds of waste, the more they reduce the more they can donate to local food banks to help fight world hunger
"Even in communities like Kearney there are always people who are struggling to make ends meet and provide food for themselves so we always want to make sure that nobody goes hungry throughout the day," said Laura Juenemann, RHA Sustainability Committee.
The Natural Resource Defense Council shows Americans are throwing out the equivalent of $165 billion dollars each year.
UNK is taking proactive measures at the local level for the campus and for a larger purpose.
"There's so many people that don't have food and can't just come and get as much food as they want on their plate whenever they want," said Rust.
The pledge will continue throughout the week but students will be challenged on Friday to only grab one plate, one bowl and one cup.
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