Student organization aims to battle hunger by limiting food waste

Published: Jan. 24, 2023 at 6:08 PM EST
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - When you make dinner, and you’re thinking about how good it’s going to be, you might not think about what happens to what you don’t eat.

The numbers on how much food we waste may shock you. The non-profit Feeding America says the U.S. wastes about 130 billion meals a year. That’s enough food for every person in the country to have at least one meal a day, every day of the year.

With over 34 million Americans facing hunger, every one of the meals we throw away matters.

We met with a local group making sure food goes to those who need it and not in the trash can. Medical College of Georgia student Jinny Heo knows how valuable that food can be for families.

“I had experience with food insecurity growing up. My family has first-hand experience,” she said.

A group of MCG students are working to eliminate food waste by solving the food insecurity issue and helping the environment.

They started the Augusta University chapter of the Food Recovery Network where they rescue pre-made meals and produce and give them to the community.

“They can recover leftover and unused food from dining halls around campus, and then we package them up, and we deliver them to numerous local organizations in Augusta,” said Heo.

Organizations like the Ronald McDonald House, Garden City Rescue Mission, Grace House Augusta, and Broken Outreach Augusta.

“I would recover about 10 to 15 pounds of food just from the Einstein’s on Fridays,” she said.

In just four months, they’ve recovered 1,600 pounds of food. That’s 1,330 meals going towards helping the community. That also saves 4,000 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions, the same as using 178 gallons of diesel.

“We’re making such a big impact already,” said Heo.