Ever wonder what happens to the food that is uneaten in Seattle University's dining areas? Well, quite a bit of it goes to a good cause. Last year, Bon Appétit, SU's food service provider, donated nearly 9,000 pounds of food-or 7,225 meals-to Food Lifeline. Since 2009, SU has donated nearly 33,000 pounds of food-that's more than 27,000 meals.
Such prowess in getting unused food to those who need it most earned SU and Bon Appétit the distinction of being certified by the Food Recovery Network in 2014. SU is one of just 60 entities nationally, and one of nine in the state, to be certified by the network. The university was certified in 2014.
Last year, SU was named Outstanding Food Donor by Food Lifeline. The university's partnership with the organization is profiled in this recent video by SU's Center for Environmental Justice and Sustainability.
“Most of what we donate is food that was prepared in excess at Cherry Street Market," says Jay Payne, general manager of Bon Appétit at Seattle U. "We work hard to estimate how popular an item will be in a given meal period, and we have to be prepared and not run out of food. This results in overage. We also donate unsold grab-and-go items if they are still safe to serve and appealing.
"It is a bit of work for our team but we are all so keen on reducing waste and feeding the needy, everybody enjoys and looks forward to it."
Pictured above: Chef Kenny Oglesby, left, is largely responsible for wrangling the donations and working with Food Lifeline. Server Balbina Santiago, right, assists in putting together the donated food.