Fighting Food Insecurity and Reducing Waste

By Kristida Chhour

2020-21 Zero Waste Ambassador

In an exciting collaboration, UCLA Zero Waste and the Community Programs Office (CPO) have teamed up to create the UCLA Food Recovery Implementation Guide. This guide provides students, faculty, and vendors information on reducing food waste and redistributing surplus food to help UCLA achieve our Zero Waste goal and feed hungry Bruins. For a quick showcase of the guideā€™s main highlights, read on!

Community Programs Office Resources

The CPO is dedicated to supporting students through its Basic Needs Office. Since 2009, the CPO Food Closet has been providing free food for any UCLA student who may be experiencing hunger and/or struggling to attain food due to financial hardships. It operates under the belief that healthy food should be available to every student, without fear of judgment or second-class treatment. 

Donating Food

Excess food can be donated to the CPO based on guidelines that ensure that the food is safe for consumption. The Food Recovery Implementation Guide provides a detailed flow chart that can aid donors in assessing whether the food is fit for donation. All donors are protected by both the Federal Good Samaritan Law and the California Good Samaritan Food Donation Act (AB 1219).

Bruin Bites

Bruin Bites is a text based service from UCLA Basic Needs that connects surplus food from on-campus events to hungry Bruins. As a student, you must be enrolled to receive notifications on the location and time that food will be available. As a staff or faculty member, you must be enrolled as an active food provider to be able to send a message to the enrolled students. The Food Recovery Implementation Guide provides information on how to enroll as a student and as a donor. 

As we prepare for a return to campus in the fall, we are excited to amp up our food recovery efforts by sharing the Food Recovery Implementation Guide and educating people about the various resources and partnerships on campus! For more resources regarding food recovery and food waste reduction, click here.