ESU Attempts to Reduce Campus Food Waste With Dansbury’s Clean Plate Campaign

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Brian Ellis 

Staff Writer 

If you have visited Danbury during lunch in the past two weeks you would have seen one on the staff members passing out red raffle tickets near the station where you turn in your dishes.

Food waste has been an issue on ESU’s campus for quite some time which caused the portion system to be instituted in Dansbury at the beginning of the Fall semester. Residential and Dining Services has taken another approach to try and gain awareness among the students about the food waste issue.

The “Clean Plate Campaign” is a program that rewards students who return their dishes in Dansbury commons with minimal or no food waste. Each student that returns a clean plate gets a raffle ticket and is entered in a chance to win a pair of Beats wireless headphones. 

“The goal is to get students to pay attention to the amount of the food they take and make sure they are eating it instead of throwing it away,” said Dushan Chacon, also known as “Fluffy,” is a worker with Dining Services.

According to the Food Recovery Network, college campus dining leads to 22 million pounds of food waste yearly. 

ESU’s dining services decided to take steps to gain awareness about food waste in Dansbury commons.

Some students feel that the campaign is a smart idea, but hasn’t been executed well.

“It’s a good idea, but I don’t think it will help students gain awareness,” said sophomore Myia Warner said. “I honestly have not even heard much about the prize.”

Other students feel that the campaign will not spark as much change as the department may want.

“I saw the tickets were passed out, but I didn’t know what they were for… after I asked, I found out it was about food waste and the prize was a pair of beats headphones,” said Taj Falconer, another sophomore.

The date the prize will be handed out has yet to be announced. A representative from Residential and Dining services was unable to comment by the time of publication.

“It’s a good thought but will students care,” said junior Laura Daher. “Is doing just a raffle making the students care about the issue? To insight change, there has to more than just a raffle.”

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