Samantha Singer (left) and Benjamin Dunn have created a club at UBCO to help end food waste on campus. - Contributed

UBCO students create club to tackle campus food waste

Leftovers Club UBCO let’s students know when there’s leftover food on campus

Two UBC Okanagan students are refusing to let food be thrown in the trash when their classmates are balancing their meal budgets.

Samantha Singer, a third-year biology student, and Benjamin Dunn, a fourth-year anthropology and psychology student, started the Leftovers Club UBCO in October to try and help hungry students and curb the amount of food waste on campus.

“It mostly came from our frustration seeing good food going to waste. I know I was always personally raised on clearing my plate and not letting any good food go to waste and this idea, this club, started last semester when I walked by an event that was going to have food being thrown out. (Luckily) I was able to take some of it,” Dunn said.

In January, the pair started connecting with different events on campus so they could redistribute leftover food from the events to students in need.

READ MORE: Kelowna teen to speak to agriculture minister for World Food Day

The club is also offering simple recipe making events, like how to make hummus and how to pickle fruits and veggies.

As of Thursday morning, the club has 140 likes on Facebook. For their recent picking event, they had 25 attendees.

Working with other groups on campus, like Project Roots as part of Enactus UBC Okanagan, the club aims to tackle food waste in all forms.

“Everyone was so interested in pickling, it was amazing,” Singer said.

“It’s nobody’s fault really that there is this food, it’s kind of the nature of the system… the current Capitalist system that’s in place, but what we’re trying to do is fill a niche.”

As a student you’re on a budget, and you have to support yourself, Singer said.

So far, the food that’s been collected has been eaten quickly.

READ MORE: Kelowna regional district looking at plan for food waste

Their goal is to reduce campus food waste by 1,000 pounds.

“Everybody we talk to about this is pushing us forward, we’re getting so much support.”

The group intends to present to the food advisory committee at UBCO in hopes of collaborating and making a larger impact at the campus.

@carliberry_
carli.berry@kelownacapnews.com

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