September 2019 Issue

Editor’s Spot: Fighting Hunger, Food Waste
By Judith Riddle
Today’s Dietitian
Vol. 21, No. 9, P. 4

I read an interesting article the other day about an incredible organization based in Washington, D.C., that launched a program in 2001 to tackle the monumental problems of food insecurity, food waste, and sustainability nationwide with the help of students on college and high school campuses. Called The Campus Kitchens Project (CKP), the national program of DC Central Kitchen, a nonprofit and social enterprise, student volunteers work with school administrators and community stakeholders to establish campus kitchens where they gather unused, wasted food from dining halls, supermarkets, restaurants, and farmers’ markets and turn it into balanced meals to feed fellow classmates and others in the surrounding communities who can’t access healthful, affordable food.

The CKP probably isn’t anything new to dietitians who work in school foodservice, but those who don’t or may be new to dietetics may not have heard of the program. According to its website (, “CKP is a national leader in community service for students and is the future of hunger relief.”

In the 2016–2017 academic year, there were more than 32,000 student volunteers at 63 campus kitchens who recovered 992,000 lbs of food and prepared 379,000 nutritious meals for distribution. Currently, 65 colleges and universities participate in The CKP, and many more plan to join the network across the United States in the near future.

This is incredible news, considering there are potentially millions, or more than 30%, of college students suffering from hunger, according to an article published in January in The Atlantic.

As The CKP fights hunger, it’s also fighting food waste. In this country, Americans waste 40% of the food produced, and food waste costs the United States $218 billion per year.
This month, Today’s Dietitian (TD) is featuring an article on food waste called “Turning Trash Into Dinner” on page 12 that provides hacks from culinary RDs on how to turn food that would otherwise be thrown away into nutritious meals. After all, reducing food waste begins at home in every household in America.

Also in the issue are articles on stroke in younger adults, pulses, healthful snacking, and our annual dining guide, “Philly’s Best Cuisine.” Everyone who’s attending the Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo™ at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia next month will want to peruse the dining guide to choose from the many award-winning restaurants in the City of Brotherly Love. The staff of TD is looking forward to seeing you there. Stop by booth 447 to say hello, and please enjoy the issue!

Judith Riddle