Honors Projects


With college prices and the cost of food increasing, so has the rate of food insecurity among college students. Food insecurity is defined as the lack of availability or access to food to meet someone’s basic and necessary needs. Food insecurity is associated with lower grades, depression, higher perceived stress, and lower graduation rates. Campuses across the country are responding to the problem in a variety of ways, including distribution of food directly to students through food pantries. Meal plans are expensive in the addition to college tuition and housing. The lowest cost for a meal plan at Bowling Green State University is $2,023, which includes 85 swipes and $800 falcon dollars. Falcon dollars are money that students can use at markets, vendors, and dining halls on campus. With 1 swipe or “meal” at a market or dining hall being equivalent an average of $11.00, 85 swipes + ($800/$11 a meal) only = 157 meals a semester. There are 106 days in the spring semester of 2024, excluding spring break March 4 through March 9 when campus is closed, meaning a student with this meal plan would have an average of 1.48 meals a day. One and a half meals a day is not sufficient for a college student who is expected to be active and learning all day. Food that is wasted on campus could help those with food insecurity. Around 40% of food is wasted by the United States every year, equating to 130 billion meals. Post-consumer food waste and overproduction of food on campus can be diminished by providing for those who food insecure or don’t have easy access to meals. Food waste also wastes all of the resources that went into to preparation; energy to grow or raise it, water, energy put into harvesting, transportation, packaging, and energy put into preparing the food. Using research of other programs that help provide food to people with food insecurity, executives at BGSU Dining, and administration at the Falcon Food Pantry, the “Feed More, Waste Less” program was created. The summer of 2023 was used to set up the program guided by the research question to help combat food waste and food insecurity.


Environment and Sustainability


Environmental Science

First Advisor

Shannon Orr

First Advisor Department

Political Science

Second Advisor

Andrew Kear

Second Advisor Department

Environment and Sustainability

Publication Date

Spring 4-10-2024