Oklahoma is one of the top five states in the nation for food insecurity, and it is estimated that 1 in 7 Oklahomans goes to bed hungry. However, over 40% of materials in municipal solid waste (the stuff going to landfills) is food or other organic waste. If we just cut down on 15% of food waste in the U.S., we would cut hunger in half.
Broncho Bites launched on October 24, 2022 when our campus food vendor, Chartwells, started donating leftover, off-the-line food each weekday after lunch. Volunteers pack this food in compostable packaging at Ayers Kitchen, bring it over to the Broncho Bites refrigerator outside NUC 150, and an alert goes out to UCO students, faculty, and staff to tell them food is available.
Students, faculty, and staff swipe their UCO ID card, take one or two containers, and usage has been great with over 60 users and 161 pounds of recovered food so far. Not only has that 161 points been diverted away from landfills, where it would breakdown and release the potent greenhouse gas methane, but even more food scraps and those compostable containers have been deposited in a compost bin at the Nigh University Center.
The community is noticing this outstanding program at UCO, thanks to some great press:
- UCO Launches Broncho Bites Food Recovery Program, https://www3.uco.edu/press/prdetail.asp?NewsID=31104, October 31, 2022
- UCO feeding students, reducing food waste with Broncho Bites, https://kfor.com/news/local/uco-feeding-students-reducing-food-waste-with-broncho-bites/, October 31, 2022
- Broncho Bites Food Recovery program, https://edmondlifeandleisure.com/broncho-bites-food-recovery-program-p23187-86.htm, November 1, 2022
- UCO Introduces New Food Recovery Program, https://okcfox.com/news/local/uco-introduces-new-food-recovery-program-that-helps-environment-students-promotes-sustainable-practices-on-campus-edmond-uco-greenhouse-gasses-compostable-oklahoma-department-of-environmental-quality-grant-broncho-bites-program-free-food-pantry, November 1, 2022
- The University of Central Oklahoma launches an on-campus food recovery program, https://www.foodservicedirector.com/operations/university-central-oklahoma-launches-campus-food-recovery-program, November 2, 2022
- University of Central Oklahoma unveils new food recovery program, https://www.kgou.org/podcast/kgou-am-newsbrief/2022-11-03/am-newsbrief, November 3, 2022
Find out how to sign up for Broncho Bites alerts and how to volunteer at http://go.uco.edu/bronchobites.