More than Just Recovering Food

What started out as just a typical Thursday Wal-Mart recovery shift turned into an interesting one as we kept on hauling in boxes and boxes of 15 oz. eggs. By the time Jenny summed up the numbers, we found out that today we received 425 lbs. of eggs. That was quite a lot of eggs! (Jenny said that this has still not beaten the previous record held during graduation day). It actually took us longer to sort through them. When we were finished, Lauren counted that we have donated 2,160 eggs!

This staggering number made me think. What if we had not gotten those eggs? What if the recovery shift was never established? Would the eggs just go to a landfill? True, there were some broken ones, but they were only a small portion compared to the good ones. (We actually donated 12 boxes of eggs to RARA after we were done). Thus, we actually “saved” these eggs from going to the landfill.

As a society, we waste a lot of food. According to an article written by Jess Ramos, “County Trash has a dirty history,” Rockbridge County, Lexington, and Buena Vista throw away about 50,000 tons of trash in the landfill (http://journalism.wlu.edu/indepth/2009/Landfill/trashtravels.html). Had these eggs not been recovered, they essentially would have turned into waste. It is quite shameful that this otherwise perfectly good food could have been thrown away. Last month, Campus Kitchen received close to 5000 lbs. of food donation. If we multiply that number by twelve, it will account for 0.06% of the total annual waste in the area. Sure, that is not a high number; but, if we are to look deeper, Campus Kitchen manages to divert that 0.06% from a landfill and use it to feed people.

Thus, I think it is also important that we not only see Campus Kitchen as an organization that is able to turn donated, often unused, food into meals that would help others, but also as an entity that contributes to the environment by reducing community waste  that gets sent to the dumpster. So, the next time you are sorting through the eggs, remember that not only we will get to serve other people from the donations, but we also help reduce the amount of waste that we produce.

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