With a Green Stamp of Approval, HSU Dining Working to be Even Greener

HSU Dining Services has been recognized for its sustainability, as it launches a new collaborative program to reduce food waste.

The Green Restaurant Association recently named HSU eateries certified green restaurants. The certification is awarded to restaurants and food service operations that meet certain requirements on seven categories: water efficiency, waste reduction and recycling, sustainable furnishings and building materials, sustainable food, energy, disposables, and chemical and pollution reduction.

Meanwhile, HSU has partnered with the City of Arcata, the City of Eureka, and Food For People to address food waste prevention and recovery in the Humboldt Bay region. Funded by a $163,657 CalRecycle grant from the State of California, the project will achieve the goal of reducing food waste landfilled in Arcata and Eureka by 42 tons annually. In addition, this project will help to improve food security for some of the most food-insecure populations in Humboldt County.

HSU prioritizes sustainability, identifying and improving efforts to combat food insecurity for its student body, and providing services in a collaborative fashion.

This collaborative project seeks to prevent food waste and help establish food security through awareness, collaboration, and policy to support the prevention of food waste, and the rescue of surplus food. Specific components of the project include:

• Multi-jurisdictional education efforts targeting grocery stores, food service businesses, the HSU community, and institutions.
• Increasing the number of managers of businesses, schools, churches, and hospitals serving food that are committed to food waste prevention and food rescue methods, and tracking food donors and the amount/type of food collected from each site.
• Infrastructure improvements for the Oh SNAP! program, including refrigeration.
• Equipment for HSU Dining for cold storage of leftovers, which will allow for more food to be donated to Oh SNAP! for distribution to food-insecure students before it becomes waste. This includes purchase of a flash freezer that will be maximally suitable to save leftover food, and a new refrigerator for a transfer location for OH SNAP! to do their pickups.
• Food For People cold storage upgrades to increase capacity and improve energy efficiency.
• Building and launching a software app to facilitate a rapid response for distribution of rescued food.

The program will also provide jobs for one graduate and undergraduate student and volunteer opportunities for a number of students interested in waste reduction.

About the Green Restaurant Association

Founded in 1990, The Green Restaurant Association (GRA), an international nonprofit organization, has pioneered the Green Restaurant® movement as the leading voice within the industry, encouraging restaurants to green their operations using transparent, science-based certification standards. With its turnkey certification system, the GRA has made it accessible for thousands of restaurants to become more sustainable.