Alleviating Want and Waste; BB&N Dining Services Respond to Pandemic

BB&N continues to prioritize the health and safety of our community, and to that end a partnership between BB&N Dining Services and a local food non-profit is making a difference for those in need. In response to concerns about excess food waste surrounding school lunches, a new program is turning unused meals into vital resources for the food insecure.

Due to the pandemic and the importance of healthy, well-balanced meals, BB&N expanded the dining program this school year to include all students, faculty, and staff. Each day, the dedicated dining staff package up a range of fresh options including: salads, hard-boiled eggs, chickpeas, a variety of vegetables, lean roast beef or turkey sandwiches, whole wheat teriyaki pasta salad, Greek yogurt, and many other healthy options. A lot of work goes into ensuring that the right amount of fresh and healthy food is prepared. However, the requirements of pre-packaging during the pandemic have resulted in leftovers and unnecessary waste.

In true BB&N Fashion, faculty, staff, and students from across all three campuses expressed concern regarding the waste. As an anchor institution, BB&N collectively understands the significant social impact it has on our surrounding communities. As a result, BB&N is now partnering with Rescuing Leftover Cuisine-Massachusetts, a non-profit organization that bridges the gap between food excess and insecurity, to strategically match BB&N’s leftover lunches to best serve recipients in need. Since this partnership began, BB&N has donated 429 pounds and 358 healthy meals to those in need—an average of 70 meals each week.

Keith Jones, BB&N’s Director of Dining Services for the last 20 years, has always valued giving back to the surrounding community. During “normal,” non-pandemic times, BB&N has consistently donated excess dry goods and snacks to Margaret Fuller House in Cambridge. Jones notes that he and his staff “always want to do the best job we can with anything we do. Making sure that no food gets wasted is a big part of doing this COVID lunch process well.”

Associate Director of Health and Wellness, Tammy Calise, is overseeing the lunch program partnership and is thrilled with the direction for the school. “I am proud to be part of a team working together to promote health—by ensuring our students, faculty, and staff are offered healthy lunch choices; our community-at-large has increased access to nutritious meals; and we are doing our part to reduce unnecessary waste.”

For more information, please contact Tammy Calise, DrPH, M.Ed, Associate Director of Health & Wellness by email at: tcalise@bbns.org.