Jen Kacere
residence hall complex director, 308.865.4806

Reducing food waste at the University of Nebraska at Kearney is the main goal of Project Clean Plate, which will take place Tuesday- Friday, Jan. 22-25, at the Market @ 27th.

“Project Clean Plate is a sustainability program to try to reduce waste within the Market @ 27th,” said Jen Kacere, RHA adviser. “Earlier this week, we tracked the amount of food and liquid waste at lunch and dinner.” The project is spearheaded by the Residence Hall Association and UNK Dining Services.

There will be several programs throughout the week to encourage and teach students effective ways to reduce waste. The programs will begin with a “Sampling Day” on Tuesday, Jan. 22.

“Students will be able to sample the food before they take it to reduce the amount of food we waste,” Kacere said.

The next event will be “Portion Day” on Wednesday, Jan. 23. On this day, pre-portioned food will be available for students to give a visual of what appropriate portion sizes look like.

“Thursday, Jan. 24, is ‘Sustainable Food Day,’” Kacere said. “UNK Dining will be educating students on what sustainable menus are and how to use them on a daily basis.”

“Finally, to further encourage students to reduce waste, we are taking it to the extreme by providing the last program, ‘One Plate, One Bowl and One Cup,’ which will occur on Friday, Jan. 25, during lunch,” Kacere said. Students will also have the opportunity to sign a “Plate Up Pledge” during the week.

The goal of the project is for students to become more conscious of the food they take, compared with what they consume.

“We want to reduce what we throw away on a daily basis,” she said. On Tuesday and Wednesday, Jan. 29 and 30, after the week of programs, RHA and UNK Dining services will measure the amount of waste accumulated in the cafeteria to learn if their efforts were successful.