As members of the Belmont Hill community, we are afforded certain opportunities to which not everyone has access. These privileges include a high level of education, great facilities, and, perhaps most importantly, readily accessible healthy food. Regardless of whether the community’s food comes in the form of family-style sit down lunches or pre-prepared bagged lunches, the availability of food to students at BH is something for which to be grateful for. However, not all of America shares the same privilege to which we have become accustomed. 1 in 7 Americans struggles with food insecurity, and many are forced to choose unhealthy food over the alternative due to the difference in price. This food shortage epidemic is not due to a lack of resources; rather, while there is enough food for everyone, 30-40% of available food goes to waste, accounting for roughly 150 billion dollars of food waste annually. Moreover, the waste of so much food has been linked to the release of greenhouse gases.
With knowledge of the truth behind food insecurity comes an important question: Does Belmont Hill contribute to the food waste in America and, if so, what is the school doing to help those in need? On October 5th this year, Ms. Wu from the dining team sent out an email announcing the school’s collaboration with Food for Free and Rescue Leftover Cuisine, two organizations dedicated to bridging the gap between healthy, wasted food in Massachusetts and those in need. Though the two organizations differ slightly in their approach to this issue, in short, the organizations identify areas of food waste within a community and transport excess food to those in need. Belmont Hill’s partnership with these organizations will allow the dining staff to give the school’s unused, healthy food to those who need it, while also reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Our community’s efforts to help fellow residents while also helping the environment is just one more reason for our community to be thankful!