AMHERST, N.Y. – Daemen College has received a Food Recovery Challenge Regional Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 2, making it the only college in New York State to receive this distinction.
“We are proud to have Daemen recognized as a regional leader in sustainability practices and for our ongoing commitment to reduce the college’s environmental footprint,” said Daemen President Gary A. Olson. “As an educational institution, we strive to foster an environmentally conscious campus culture that actively engages our students, faculty, and staff.”
The award was presented in honor of Daemen’s outstanding achievements in preventing and diverting wasted food as a participant in the EPA’s Food Recovery Challenge (FRC), which encourages organizations to improve their sustainable food management practices. The FRC is a part of the Sustainable Management Program that focuses on reducing the environmental impact of materials throughout their entire life cycle.
For the FRC program, a Daemen student-run class project overseen by Dr. Brenda Young, chair of the Global and Local Sustainability Department, has addressed reducing wasted food on campus. Since the college’s program was launched in 2012, more than 5.8 tons of food has been diverted from landfills.
“Together with Hallmark Dining Services, we have created a successful program to reduce food waste as part of our many initiatives in sustainability and environmental stewardship,” said Young. “Reducing food waste helps to conserve agricultural resources, saves energy and landfill space, and reduces greenhouse gas emissions.”
According to the EPA, in 2015, Region 2 organizations involved in the FRC program diverted nearly 31,000 tons of food from landfills through their combined activities. Nationally, more than 800 FRC participating organizations kept over 690,000 tons of food from being wasted.