University of Iowa students work to reduce food waste on campus

The students are currently focusing on collecting pre-packed and canned foods, which are easier to transport.

IOWA CITY, Iowa—While living in a residence hall last year at the University of Iowa, John Sheeley was shocked by the amount of food students were throwing away in the cafeteria.

"It's a huge problem," said Sheeley, a sophomore in pre-business.

This spring, Sheeley learned about the Food Recovery Network, a nationwide program that helps students collect surplus food on their campus and donate it to organizations that feed the hungry in their area. Founded in 2011, FRN has chapters at 46 colleges and universities in 21 states where student volunteers have recovered more than 235,000 pounds of food.

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Foodservice directors spend a lot of time taking care of other people, whether it’s K-12 students who aren’t always eating enough at home, malnourished patients back for return visits or employees squabbling among themselves. That kind of pressure can weigh heavily—and come home from work. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America finds that 83% of men and 72% of women say stress at work carries over into their personal lives, and 50% call staff management their main culprit for workplace stress.

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