In an effort to reduce dining hall food waste and feed the campus community, the University of Maine is offering the new Black Bear Community Fridge. The initiative will offer free, surplus cafeteria food supplied and managed by Sodexo with support from other campus and community partners. The fridge is located on the first floor of the Memorial Union, available from 7 am to midnight every day.

Senior University of Maine student Kate Flynn spearheaded the community fridge effort as part of her internship with the Senator George J. Mitchell Center for Sustainability Solutions. “With data showing that over 30% of the food produced in the U.S. is never eaten, a community fridge is a great solution for redirecting potentially wasted food to feed people,” she told UMaine News. “By decreasing the amount of perfectly good food thrown away, we also decrease the methane emissions that food rotting in landfills produces. We can take care of each other while also taking care of the planet.”

Volunteers are asked to help stock the fridge each weekday morning between 7 and 8 am. Flynn will then work to research how much food waste is reduced and how the community benefits as a result of the community fridge program.

Read more about it here.