Northwestern University Dining (NU Dining) in Evanston, Ill., has set up a food recovery program to donate unused meals on campus to local community members.
The program was launched in partnership with Northwestern’s dining provider, Chartwells Higher Education, at the start of 2021. At that time, the dining team was delivering hot lunches and dinners to 2,200 students each day during a two-week quarantine period.
After the first lunch service, around 500 meals went unclaimed. NU Dining spent the next day looking for a way to donate the unused meals. They were able to partner with Chicago Food Policy Action Council and several nonprofits in the area, which agreed to take the meals and distribute them to those in need.
By the end of the two-week quarantine, NU Dining had donated almost 11,000 meals.