From scraps to supper: Feeding the 500 event to take place on campus

The Feeding 500 planning team

The Feeding 500 planning team

Madeline Scalzi

Imagine not knowing where your next meal will come from. For one-in-eight Americans and 103 million people worldwide, food insecurity is an everyday threat, according to Feeding America and the FAO.

For senior biology major, Erin Shattuck, stopping food insecurity starts with eliminating food waste.

“If we fed every single person on this planet, we would still have half the food waste we do right now,” Shattuck said. “We just make astronomical amounts of food, so we need to start by producing less.”

She realizes producing less food does not mean putting American famers out of jobs.

“Governments provide so much subsidies for farmers and I think it would be really cool if they subsidize other things that could employ famers,” Shattuck said. “Why can’t they turn their farmland into a biodiversity center or into a bee restoration place or a Monarch Butterfly habitat?”

Shattuck studied in Australia for a year where she learned about food waste and dumpster diving with a student organization on campus. The students would take the food that they found and trade it in an alternative economy on campus.

“People were able to take what they need and give what they wanted,” Shattuck said.

She also acknowledged the extent of dumpster diving as more than gnawing on rotten banana peels and apple cores.

“Dumpster diving is not what it sounds like,” Shattuck said. “Companies will throw stuff away for so many random reasons.

Shattuck described her shock when she discovered 11 bags of perfectly-good rice during her first day dumpster diving, thrown away because one of the 12 bags in a case had ripped, making the entire case unsellable to the business.

On Sunday, April 15th from 1 p.m to 5 p.m a team of five students, including Shattuck, will host the first Kent State University “Feeding the 500” meal.  

“The idea behind ‘Feeding the 500’ is that we are getting food along the supply chain that would have otherwise been thrown away,” Shattuck said.

Shattuck said she hopes through the event, people will realize the amount of waste the Kent community generates in one night and understand the significant impact of food waste.

Madeline Scalzi is a student life and education reporter. Contact her at [email protected].