Addressing Food Waste and Food Security Through the Diversion of Avoidable Food Waste on Dalhousie’s Studley Campus
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The main objective of this research project was to find out whether a food diversion program would be feasible on Dalhousie University’s Studley campus. Such a program would redistribute uneaten food to Dalhousie’s student population rather than entering the waste stream. Qualitative research methods were used in this research project such as interviews and an online survey. We interviewed potential stakeholders in the Dalhousie Student Union Building (SUB), to find out whether they were willing and legally able to participate in an oncampus food diversion program. We also surveyed Dalhousie students in order to gauge their knowledge and interest in an on-campus food diversion program. After analyzing results from the interviews and surveys, we discovered that the main barriers are health and food safety concerns, policy issues, and stakeholder willingness to participate. Potential opportunities include a community fridge, an existing steady supply of reclaimable food, and support from the student community. We would recommend that future research be done in order to determine implementation costs and the current need for this program, as these fall beyond the scope of our research. Our results indicate that while there are barriers to overcome, there are also significant opportunities that would make the implementation of a food diversion program feasible.