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Should it go to waste or to waist?

Last week, while I was serving as Student-Volunteer Coordinator at the SIGCSE Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education, we ended up gathering a bunch of food in the room. People brought the snacks left from a break. A Symposium Chair brought leftover deserts from the Conference Committee Dinner. I probably brought a few things too [1]. Students ate a lot of the food, but certainly not all of it.

So at the end of the conference, we were left with food. In a more optimal world, someone would have arranged for a way to get that food to people who needed empty calories [2], just as had happened with the leftovers from the awesome SIGCSE-sponsored, GitHub-funded Student-Volunteer dinner at Nando’s [3].

But that did not happen. I’m not even sure how we could make that happen. Many cities have very strict rules on what kinds of leftovers can and cannot go to the needy.

So, while cleaning out the room, I grabbed a box of brownies so that they wouldn’t go to waste. But when I got back to my room, I realized that if I ate them, they would just go to waist [4]. That also seemed like a bad idea. So I guess they go to waste after all.

Oh well. I at least I found good homes for any leftover student swag [5].

[1] Bananas and granola bars from a buffet I’d been to.

[2] By the time we were leaving, it was basically just leftover desserts. I think leftover deserts qualify as empty calories.

[3] We let the students take to-go boxes. We encouraged them to take more. There was still a lot left. Then the Nando’s staff said, Don’t worry, we have a deal with Catholic Charities.

[4] More specifically, to my waist.

[5] In some cases, the good homes will be in the CS commons for Grinnell students to take.

Version 1.0 of 2018-02-26.