The University of Notre Dame is donating more than eight tons of surplus food from its 2022 home football season to be repurposed for people in need.
Notre Dame says the food, which amounts to about 2,300 pounds per game, is being donated to Cultivate Food Rescue, a nonprofit that will ultimately disburse the items to its network of more than 100 organizations in St. Joseph, Elkhart and Marshall counties.
The items include meats, vegetables, starches and desserts — unpurchased, or surplus, saleable food items from Notre Dame Stadium’s catering and concessions operations.
“As a university, we’re always looking for ways to reduce waste while offering nutritious, surplus food to our neighbors,” said Tim Sexton, Notre Dame’s associate vice president for public affairs.
Notre Dame says most of the surplus food comes from its football stadium, along with Purcell Pavilion, Compton Family Ice Arena, the Center for Culinary Excellence, and the North and South dining halls. In total, the university says it has donated more than 2.5 million pounds of food to the nonprofit.
Jim Conklin, executive director and co-founder of Cultivate, says Notre Dame has been its most valuable partner, paving the way for about 70 additional food donors to join in the effort.
“The University of Notre Dame has been our most valuable player in this effort in our community,” said Conklin. “As our first food donor, the University blazed the path for nearly 70 more food donors to join. In addition to food donations, the University has been a valuable source of volunteer, financial and research support.”
According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, discarded food accounts for as much as 8% of all greenhouse gas emissions worldwide.