Feeding the 5,000

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Carolina Dining Services will host a free lunch on Wed., Oct. 22, and the entire UNC community is invited to attend this unique, first-of-its-kind meal to be served on a college campus. The free meal is part of the Feeding the 5,000 campaign, and the menu will consist entirely of food that would have otherwise been wasted.

Feeding the 5,000 is a worldwide initiative with the goal of empowering and inspiring the global community to enact positive solutions to the global issue of food waste. It began in London and events have been hosted in cities around the world including Paris, Amsterdam, Dublin and Sydney. The meal that will be served on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill will mark the first time such an event has been held in a University environment.

In preparation for this large undertaking, Carolina Dining Services team members have been gleaning at farms around North Carolina, salvaging fruit and vegetables left on the field due only to retailer’s strict cosmetic standards or to overproduction. The menu will include a curry made from surplus vegetables, including misshapen potatoes, crooked carrots and blemished tomatoes that were cast out because they are not cosmetically perfect or are surplus to requirement, as well as a range of dishes, including Brunswick Stew, Jamaican Fish Chowder and Fruit Cobbler. Michael Gueiss, Executive Chef of Carolina Dining Services, will lead the food preparation.

The meal will be served in The Pit and Top of Lenoir Dining Hall from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Any remaining food will be donated to the Interfaith Council for Social Service in Chapel Hill.

Co-organized by Carolina Dining Services and Feeding the 5,000, the goal of the event is to illustrate the unimaginable quantity of food that goes to waste in the world and empower the UNC community on how to think about, reduce and manage food waste. The community is also welcome to participate in a discussion on these issues later that evening in the Carolina Union Auditorium from 6:15 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. with Stuart, Sea to Table Director Sophie Waskow Rifkin and Jonathan Bloom, author of “American Wasteland.”

To learn more, watch Tristram Stuart's Ted Talk or follow Carolina Dining Services on Twitter @CDSatUNC. For more information on Feeding the 5,000, visit

Tristram Stuart: The global food waste scandal