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Cornell’s Polson Institute for Global Development will host “Reducing Campus Food Waste: Innovations and Ideas,” a lecture and workshop May 2-3 at Call Auditorium, Kennedy Hall, and in the Multipurpose Room of the Africana Studies and Research Center, 310 Triphammer Road.

The lecture and workshop are free and open to the public.

“This two-day event brings together community members, academics and policy makers to engage with the Cornell and Ithaca community on reducing food waste – an important, but often overlooked, sustainability issue,” said Lori Leonard, professor of development sociology, director of the Polson Institute and a fellow at the Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future.

The event kicks off with noted author and activist Tristram Stuart speaking on “Food Waste and What We Can Do About It,” May 2 at 5:30 p.m. in Call Auditorium. Stuart founded Feedback, an environmental group that aims to change society’s attitude toward wasting food. He is also the founder of Toast Ale – a beer made from fresh surplus bread – which launched in the United Kingdom three years ago.

Following Stuart, award-winning celebrity chef Gabe Kennedy ’13 will host a catered reception at Call Auditorium. As a chef, world traveler and environmental advocate, Kennedy is dedicated to connecting people, food and culture.

In the United States, about 30 to 40 percent of the food supply becomes waste, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service. This estimate includes annual food loss at the retail and consumer household levels – an estimated 133 billion pounds, worth approximately $161 billion.

The USDA has said food waste has far-reaching impacts on domestic and global food security, resource conservation and climate change.

On May 3 at the Africana Center, the morning workshop session, “Feeding Hungry (and Thirsty) People: New Ideas” will feature: Ciara Low of Uproot Colorado; Dan Kuzrock of ReGrained; Rachel Landis of The Good Food Collective; Ben Chesler of Imperfect Produce; Sam Alcaine, assistant professor of food science; and Dominique McMillan of Food Recovery Network.

Over lunch, participants will discuss food rescue and redistribution through local networks. Included in the discussion will be: Meaghan Sheehan Rosen of Friendship Donation Network; Mark Darling, retired sustainability programs director in the Office of Energy Management and Sustainability at Ithaca College; and Shakima Clency, Cornell associate dean of students for student empowerment. Clency will discuss Cornell’s “Swipe Out Hunger” initiative.

The afternoon will feature workshops on “Feeding Food Scraps to Animals” with Tara Pike of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and Tom Il Grande of Northstar Recycle; “Innovating for Source Reduction” with Hannah Semler of Whole Crops and Brian Lipinski of World Resources Institute; and “Transforming Ideas into Action” with  Ellen Meyer of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Funding for this event was provided by the Atkinson Center, the Cornell Lectures Committee, Engaged Cornell and the Polson Institute.

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