By Stephen DiFiore
At their weekly meeting in the Presidential Conference Room in the Student Services Building, PSGA officials heard Purchase Sustainability Coordinator Angie Kim discuss the need to address food waste and food insecurity on campus.
The long-term goal is to take food that would otherwise be thrown away at campus dining services and provide them either to students who do not have easy access to food, or to local shelters.
“Rather than throwing it away, it would be best to salvage it,” Kim said.
Kim said that this idea would be most useful given that food options to students is often expensive, and can cause food insecurity among students.
Kim wants to find a place on campus where salvaged food can be distributed but does not want to impede on other established spaces, such as the Free Store, which does not have enough room to add this.
“We are hoping for mobile distribution,” Kim added.
Several Commuter Senators, such as Senator Julia Tortorello-Allen, advocated for providing salvaged food to commuting students who might not have food at home.
Senator Steve Kollias, also a Commuter Senator, spoke to the larger issue of food insecurity among college students.
“We don’t realize the percentage of people out there who are starving,” Kollias said. “I believe the entire SUNY system should do this.”
According to Senate Chair Teresa Wheeler, SUNY does require schools to have either an on campus food pantry or to provide students with information about nearby pantries.
However, there is no similar rule in place requiring SUNY schools to salvage food that is at risk of being thrown out.
Kim has been discussing the matter with Chartwells, the main source of food for students on campus.
“Chartwells is going to have to play a big role in this initiative,” Kim said.
Kim added that Chartwells indicated that they are willing to give the food to the school, but does not want to make their food distribution any more complicated for their workers.
Kim is holding a general interest meeting on Oct. 30 from 12 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. in Humanities 1051 in order to hear more from students about how Purchase can move forward on this issue.
“We want this to be student led.”
See Sierra Petro's profile of Angie Kim here: https://www.purchasenews.org/news/angie-kim-may-look-like-a-student-but-she-s-getting-a-lot-done