A plan to transfer excess food from residential halls to a student community kitchen is in development at UCR. According to Wellness Coordinator Audrey Michelle Lim, untouched food from residential halls will be repackaged to other students on campus by student volunteers. Lim projects that the food recovery plan will roll out fall of next year. Currently, there is no set date for the completion of this plan.
In an interview with the Highlander, CHASS Senator Avi Idea claimed, “They are working on a student kitchen to be on the third floor of the HUB; that way we don’t have as much food waste.”Both Idea and Lim foresee challenges in executing this plan. Lim identified challenges with food and student safety: “A lot of the challenges come with food safety and student safety. With the food recovery side, it is more so making sure to train everyone to handle food safely to keep students consuming and packaging safe.” Idea adds, “It’s already a logistical nightmare with facilities and putting the kitchen on the third floor of the HUB is a huge venture. This project has been in development for a really long time.”
Several student organizations are working on this plan. According to Lim, the student planning committee consists of members from: Circle K, Swipe Out Hunger, Chemistry Club, R’Pantry student volunteers and Highlander Chefs.
UC Riverside Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) department is also a part of the process. Lim stated, “We are working with EHS right now. We want to make sure that we are meeting their standards.”
Idea stated that, “Not a lot of students know about it yet. It’s not there yet. Everyone working on it in development are very excited.” However, Lim indicated that the student organizations working on this plan target a certain population of students to ask their view of the issue.
Lim concluded: “If students are interested, then they will want to develop this plan. We need a lot of student volunteers especially when you are talking about large-scale food recovery from dining halls.”