In the last few weeks, the Dining Commons (DC) has been making it a point to show Keene State College students just how much food they waste each time they eat there.

When I saw the signs and tables full of food to show the amount that is thrown out each night, I grew concerned. It is because of the rules at the DC that so much food gets thrown out.

The DC does not allow students to bring meals to go; therefore, those who put too much food on their plate are forced to throw out what is left over.

If KSC provided to-go boxes I’m sure that amount of food wasted each day would decrease significantly.

The DC does offer lunches to-go up to five times a week, but that requires you to call ahead of time and plan when you’d like to pick it up.

Erin D’Aleo / Graphic Design Editor

Erin D’Aleo / Graphic Design Editor

Students’ schedules change all the time, so this can be inconvenient for some. For meals on the go, there is Hoot-N-Scoot and that is one place I will go as an absolute last resort.

Each week the same food is offered on a specific day. The only healthy food items Hoot-N-Scoot has to offer are salads, which taste incredibly bland. They also offer the same sandwiches everyday. So I usually leave with a meatball sub, fries and a cookie because those are the only good options available.

At Hoot-N-Scoot, pizza, some type of unhealthy sub with french fries and cookies are always available. The salads change daily, but it’s usually lettuce with some random pasta thrown on top, which doesn’t look appetizing in the least.

This is not the type of to-go meals I’m looking for. I’d like the food from the DC that actually offers a variety of different options and has some type of nutrition.

There is also Lloyd’s Marketplace, where I thoroughly enjoy going and getting food. However, at the end of each semester I run out of Flex dollars and can no longer get food from Lloyds.

This leaves me with the option of going to the DC, or getting Hoot-N-Scoot.

As a college student with a budget, I rely heavily on my meal plan. I can’t always go out and buy food to cook, so I’m forced to go eat at the DC a few times a week and ninety-seven percent of the time, I leave completely dissatisfied.

With that being said, I’m sure I could vouch for many Keene State students when I say that aside from not being able to take food to-go, another reason so much food is wasted is because it is just plain bad.

The vegetables for stir fry are always the same; there are only so many times a year I can eat the same exact vegetables thrown in with some sauce and rice and be happy with my meal.  Whenever I go to eat the meat at the DC, it’s always dry.

Sometimes I find myself so disgusted with the food being served that I’ll ditch my first meal and grab a salad instead, only to take a bite and realize the lettuce is completely warm and wilted, so then I’ll add to my pile of plates and grab a slice of pizza.

That’s two meals wasted…and that’s just for one person. KSC should provide to-go boxes for students so they can bring their leftovers out of the DC.

If KSC is concerned with students taking advantage of this, then they should have DC staff monitor how much food is being taken out.

Some of the food thrown out could also be composted as a way to reduce the waste. They should also put more money into the food being served so that students can get a nutritious meal and have more of a variety of food to eat.

If KSC made these changes, the amount of food wasted each night would decrease significantly.


Brooke Stall can be contacted at bstall@keene-equinox

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