As UC Merced’s mission of food rescue continues to expand in the community, a new program will make sure food isn’t wasted on campus as well.
The No Food Left Behind initiative aims to reduce food insecurity and waste on campus by connecting the campus community to Lakeside catered events that have food left over. When ordering in CaterTrax, there is now an option to donate leftover food, and, if selected, the event will be registered as a No Food Left Behind event.
There are two ways leftover food can be collected. First, attendees can bring food containers to these events and take food when they leave. Alternatively, students, faculty and staff who are not attending but have registered for the program will receive text messages before events letting them know food may be available after. If food is available, those registered will have 15 minutes after the event to bring food containers and collect leftovers. To sign up for free, text FOOD to 85523.
“Food should not be left behind and thrown away when many in our community are food insecure,” No Food Left Behind program coordinator Erin Meyer said. “This new program will help prevent that. I’m excited to launch this program and leave hunger behind.”
The program is a collaboration between the Bobcat Eats Food Waste Awareness and Prevention Program, UC Merced’s Office of Sustainability, CropMobster, UC Merced’s Environmental Health and Safety Department, Lakeside Catering and Basic Needs Security.
The campus community can also take part in a logo contest for No Food Left Behind. The top three designs will win a prize and the winning design will be featured on all program material. Contact Meyer at firstname.lastname@example.org for templates and approved colors. Logos must be submitted via email by Sept. 15.