Interview with the University Center

What is your protocol for unused and leftover food

When there is leftover food, chefs will determine what can be used again on campus, however food can only be reused or reheated once.

If any food cannot be reused or reheated it is discarded.

In order to decrease the amount of leftover food, food production is done based on the need on campus. This information comes from their post production review.

Cooking in the dining hall is done in a style called batch cooking, this is where meals are cooked to order rather than having mass amounts prepared. This allows for fresher food, higher quality and eliminates over production.

Do you have any partnerships with local homeless shelters?

On campus dining has encountered some snags with homeless shelters in the area because they often times cannot store the quantity of food and it would have to be served immediately.

Dining is hoping to reconnect with them and see what possibilities are for the future.

Most homeless shelters in the area have previously planned meals, and it is difficult for dining to gauge when they will have the level of food availability that the shelters need.

Once a semester, they partner with Micah Ministries. Their team made up of staff and students, will prepare and serve all of the food for that meal.

Typically there are 100 people attending. Dining tries to prepare enough so that people are able to go through the line twice and take leftovers.

These meals typically include baked chicken, roast turkey, pasta salad, and vegetables.

Are there any donation programs that campus dining is involved with?

Dining does a food drive each year, most recently they donated 6,700 pounds of food. This was all donated to the Fredericksburg Regional Food Bank. The food goes directly to the food bank and they have partnerships with homeless shelters in the area.

There is a food recovery network program on campus that is student-led. They come twice a week, Monday and Thursday nights around closing time.

Sous chefs will give the students food, which will be wrapped in disposable food containers, weighed and then taken to the Fredericksburg Baptist Church.

The food at the Baptist church feeds refugee families in the area.

One of the families that regularly attends is a family of 10, the father said that because of this program it allows for them to eat and actually be full.

A direct impact can be seen.

If there was higher involvement from students, they could potentially donate food every night. Dining would just have to work to find a place that is able to receive the food.

Additional Information:

It is difficult for dining to control post consumer waste- waste that takes place after food has been served to students.

Hoping to introduce tasting sizes, that way students can see if they like or don’t like the food rather than getting a full plate and wasting it.

Dining conducts food waste studies every year, last year was the first year that food waste increased after the results from the study had been published.

Food trays were done away with 6-7 years ago, and dining saw a decrease in food waste as a result.

Everything that goes into the dish line is pulped and disposed of in an environmentally friendly way.  They are working on trying to get it to a composter.

Believes food waste to be a cultural problem.

Interview with Giant

What is your protocol for unused/leftover food?

Any dry foods, as long as they are edible, are donated to the fredericksburg food bank

Products that are not eligible for food donation are donated via the Organic Recycling program. This program started in 2011.

In 2015, 35.1 million pounds of organic waste was diverted through the Organic Recycling program

From January through September of 2016, 646,000 pounds of food has been diverted from landfills to the organic recycling.

Products from the meat and seafood department that cannot be donated are recycled for some makeup products.

Fryer oil and oven grease is recovered and recycled.

Tell me about the Thanksgiving pie donation program that is currently going on.

For $3.99+tax, pies and proceeds can be donated to the Fredericksburg Area Food Bank.

This is something that Giant does every year.

They currently have 50 cases of pumpkin pies to donate to the Fredericksburg Area Food Bank. The pies are donated frozen so that any extras can be used at a later date.

Last Tuesday, Giant donated 1,000 turkeys to the food bank.

What is the protocol when donating food?

As long as there are no holes, food is donated.

The food bank has a sorting area where people will go through all of the delivered food. This is where they will see if the donated food is safe to be used in the food bank or not.

Foods that are out of date and cannot be sold in store are donated.

Typically, manufacturing dates give a shorter lifespan for the food to ensure that customers are getting fresher food.  Foods such as salad dressings can go longer than the dates printed on them. The food bank has charts for the foods to see how much longer they are edible.

Foods that have reached their sell by date are also donated unless the manufacturers take them back to receive credit.

Do you think that this is a beneficial process?


What do you think the main issue is in the community regarding homelessness?

A lack of decent paying jobs.

There is a difference between minimum wage and living wage, and she does not believe that the wages have caught up with the population increase in the area. Some people still consider it a rural location despite all of the development in the recent years.

There is a need for better paying jobs in the area.

Additional comments:

They love working with the community, they see the need for it and have tried harder to increase their donations as a result.

There has been a long partnership between the Fredericksburg Regional Food Bank and Giant.

They have in house plastic bag recycling.

They have in house donation bins year round for the food bank.

People in the area give back frequently without hesitation.

She was recently transferred to this location and at her previous one, they would make Thanksgiving dinner bags and take them into the local schools. Children whose families needed a meal were able to receive a bag.

In the White Oak location, they partner with Rikki’s Refuge in Orange County, Va, a farm that houses unwanted and abandoned animals and that Giant donates unused food as well as cloth, cleaner, etc. for the farm.