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UC Merced Sustainability Presents

What is Our Goal?

During the week of April 10th through April 16th, our goal for Food Waste Prevention Week is to catalyze change regarding the global food waste issue. We intend to do so by educating and engaging UC Merced and the surrounding community about practical, creative, and impactful ways to prevent food waste.


Take the Pledge to Prevent Food Waste




of all food produced worldwide is lost or wasted each year


of root crops, fruit and vegetables produced globally is lost or wasted every year


the annual cost of food wasted by the average American family


of the food wasted worldwide could feed all 795 million undernourished people in the world


of all greenhouse gas emissions, every year are due to food loss and waste


How You Can Help

Learn about expiration dates.

Make a shopping list before you go shopping.

Stop by the People’s Fridge before heading to the store to prevent food waste and save money.

Donate unopened, edible surplus to a People’s Fridge. Find your nearest location here.

Store food properly. Here are some tips and a few more here. 

UC Staff: Make your events “No Food Left Behind” events by opting in on CaterTrax or America to Go.

UC Students: Attend No Food Left Behind events.

Cook root to stem.


Refer to the resources section to learn more.


Have your Own Tip?

Submit your own tip here and we will share it on social media.



Related Surplus Food and Featured Earth Month Events

4/8- Composting with the People’s Garden

4/21 from 10 am - 12 pm USDA Food Distribution

4/21 from 5:30-7:30 pm at the El Capitan Hotel- “Salvage Social Hour” ($20; proceeds go to UC Merced Basic Needs)

4/22 at 4 pm PT- Improv to Improve the Earth (Earth Day virtual improv). Register here.

4/26- Stop Food Waste Day

4/26 from 11:30-1 in  KL 360- Tote bag decorating

Every Saturday from 1-2 (weather permitting)- Pop-Up People’s Pantry 



Food Waste Prevention Video Contest

We are holding a food waste prevention video contest. Judges will be food waste prevention advocates from UC Merced and the community. The top video will win $250. The runner up will win $100 and the 3rd best video will win $50. The winning video will be branded and shared on our social media pages. Winners will be announced on Stop Food Waste Day (April 26th). The contest is open to the general public as well as UC Merced folx.

1.) Create a professional video showcasing three practical things you can do to prevent food waste. The video should be no longer than three minutes.

2.) Upload the video here by 4/16/23 at 11:59 pm PT. 



1.) Rubric Here

2.) 3 minute maximum

3.) Must have 3 tips

4.) Must be professional and appropriate (G-rated)

5.) Must be original content (any music must be original)

6.) Bonus points if it’s kid friendly (think animations etc.)

7.) Bonus points if you can get Rufus, the mascot, to participate :) 


Other Ways You Can Be Involved

Volunteer at the USDA Distribution.

Go gleaning and donate the surplus to the People’s Fridge.

Teach your neighbors about surplus food and food waste.

Start a People’s Fridge. Email if interested.

Sign up to volunteer for summer food rescues by emailing:

Share our Food Waste Prevention content or your own using #UCMpreventsfoodwaste #SaveTheFoodUCM. Tag us!


Additional Resources

“The Problem of Food Waste”

Harvard on “Food Waste”

Preventing Wasted Food at Home

Food Waste Prevention Week


College Hunger

No Food Left Behind

Basic Needs


"Stop Food Waste Day"