The leading food service provider at GW donates around 75 pounds of leftover food to a local D.C. charity each week.
Sodexo – which runs both the J Street and Pelham Commons dining halls on GW’s Foggy Bottom and Mount Vernon campuses – attempts to minimize food waste from on-campus dining halls. When there are leftovers, Sodexo ships the food to D.C. Central Kitchen, a charity in Northwest D.C. that supplies meals to the homeless and hungry.
“Sodexo at GWU does not have very much food waste,” said Sam Ramos, the general manager of Sodexo Services at GW, in an e-mail. “We constantly monitor our customer flow and adjust our food production levels to meet the need. Any food that is left over is packaged and donated to help feed the hungry.”
In 2009, Sodexo at GW donated more than 4,000 pounds of food to local soup kitchens, according to D.C. Central Kitchen’s annual report.
The D.C. Central Kitchen gathers more than three tons of surplus perishable and non-perishable food from local food service corporations every day, according to the organization’s website.
To cut down on wasted food at college campuses across the country, Sodexo launched a nationwide campaign earlier this month to make students aware of how much food they are throwing away.
Saint Leo University in Florida, which uses Sodexo’s food services, launched a campaign in which students’ dining hall waste is weighed and put on display on a daily basis.
At the beginning of the school year, students averaged 800 pounds of waste. The numbers decreased to 200 pounds once students started to see the results of their daily efforts.
Ramos said the amount of food waste produced at GW is so low that Sodexo does not track the number.
This article appeared in the September 23, 2010 issue of the Hatchet.