Residents of the Heartside neighborhood of Grand Rapids experience a significant amount of poverty and food insecurity. The Heartside Gleaning Initiative is a nonprofit organization that assists Heartside residents by redistributing donated, fresh produce to them. Through survey research, our purpose was to assist the Heartside Gleaning Initiative in finding out what happens to this food once it is distributed; specifically how much food is wasted. Participants included residents that receive food donations as well as nonprofit organizations that receive donations and prepare meals for community members. Through community collaborations, we were able to write a survey, perform the survey, and obtain a data summary. It appears that food waste following distribution is not very prevalent, as reported by participants. While our study has limitations, including small sample size, it has opened the door for more research in this area. Recommendations for the future include utilizing information from other class groups including recipe books and nutrition/cooking classes to ensure that food waste does not rise.
Kuhl, Katelyn; Tuttle, Sommer; and Villarreal, Jessica, "Heartside Gleaning Initiative Food Waste Survey" (2014). LIB 322: Wicked Problems of Sustainability. 10.