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University of Missouri

Too Much, Too Little, Just Right

Mizzou works to conserve food and feed the hungry.


n most ways, Mizzou and Columbia are a land of plenty. Yet many are hungry. Mizzou students work to conserve food, recycle through composting and run a food pantry offering some locally grown food.

Nick Droege holding a basket of food

Nick Droege. Photo by Rob Hill.

Food Uncertainty

The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports that 15.8 percent (934,034) of Missouri’s nearly 6 million residents faced uncertainty in acquiring sufficient food for their households in 2008.


In spring 2012, students composted 40,000 pounds of campus food waste and 40,000 pounds of horse bedding to create Mizzou Doo, which is used to fertilize vegetables.

Farm to Market

Mizzou’s Wellness Resource Center sponsors a farmers market, which draws as many as 2,500 people to Lowry Mall. Across town, the Columbia Farmers Market averages 4,000 visitors, and its members include about 70 local farmers, producers and artisans.

Tiger Volunteers

In fall 2012, Tiger Pantry launches to feed low‐income students and employees. The pantry will be within walking distance of campus, says director Nick Droege, left, a biological sciences major from Eureka, Mo. He expects that about 40 students will volunteer two to four hours a week to meet the need. To contribute food or time:

Waste Not

Campus Dining Services estimates that 250 tons of food waste are produced in the dining halls annually. That’s about 4.5 ounces of food waste per meal. To conserve, chefs make most meals to order, preparing 10 to 20 portions at a time. Leftover raw vegetables are recycled in next‐day offerings such as soup.

2.22.2 Million meals served annually by Campus Dining Services at its 21 locations.

1 of 5One out of 5 families in Boone County (including Columbia) in 2008 that were eligible for food stamps.

Bar chart

Lettuce Eat

The student group Tigers for Community Agriculture grew and sold 449 pounds total of romaine lettuce (352 pounds), broccoli (51 pounds) and rainbow chard (46 pounds) to Campus Dining Services and the University Club in spring 2012.