George Brown College’s Waste-diversion Program Helping Students

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TORONTO — The culinary program at Toronto’s George Brown College is reducing food waste and helping its students eat more healthy meals.

According to an interview with CBC, Jason Inniss, a chef and professor at George Brown, came up with the idea of donating untouched meals created by student chefs to the school’s student food bank. “I walked into a classroom one day and found that there was a lot of cooked, good food that was going into the garbage,” says Inniss.

Culinary students at George Brown prepare four meals a day and each recipe serves four people. One plate is tasted and graded by the professor, leaving the student with three portions. “The [culinary] students can eat what they make or take it home, but they just weren’t doing it,” says Innis.

Instead, Innis facilitated giving the unwanted meals to George Brown students who were struggling financially through a partnership with the school’s student association.“We wanted to make sure our students are food secure,” he says.

All donated food is packaged in single or family-sized portions and sent to the school’s food bank, where students can pick up restaurant-quality meals.

From an environmental standpoint, Inniss says the college is doing its part to reduce waste. “It’s not just food that’s going into the landfill,” said Inniss. “It’s the water that goes into growing it; it’s the farmer’s time, it’s the travel, it’s the carbon footprint. We’re just trying to respect all of that.”

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