By Sahaja Ampolu , Medical Sciences; Nithya Trichy, Medical Sciences ; Emma Duhamel, University of Cincinnati
Advisor: Francis Russell
Abstract: In the fall semester of 2019, we took a seminar called "Inquiry to Innovation: Zero Waste, Zero Hunger" from the honors program(in partnership with Kroger's program). There is an abundance of food being wasted everyday which severely harms the environment because the food is not being decomposed properly and thus turns into harmful greenhouse gasses. Also, the disconnect between waste and hunger is obvious- why throw any food away when we can just give to the hungry? To address this issue, my group thought of places at UC where food is most likely being wasted: dining halls. We came up with the conjecture "if a system involving the safe packaging food from dining halls and efficient redistribution to local nonprofit organizations is implemented at the University of Cincinnati, then the amount of food waste produced by dining halls would decrease and the amount of food available to the hungry in the greater community would increase. This system relies on student volunteers who both package and deliver leftover, unused and uneaten food from the University of Cincinnati to a local nonprofit." Research went into finding out if it was legal to donate food and so far many laws gave us the confidence to proceed. A lot of research also went into figuring out the details with packaging and transferring guidelines. There is still a lot to do so my team and a couple of others are continuing this project with the help of our seminar professor, Mr. Frank Russell.