SAN LUIS OBISPO – Cal Poly Campus Dining will join 300 fellow colleges and universities nationwide to recognize Stop Food Waste Day by hosting a “Grate-Ful” event and celebrating gratitude for the Earth on April 27.

Campus Dining is working with campus and community partners on activities such as volunteer harvesting and donations, plant-forward menus, teaching kitchens, sustainability pledges, Earth-friendly activities and more.

“We’re proud and excited to participate and share with as many people as possible some easy ways they can reduce their impact on the Earth,” Campus Dining Director Jess Dozier said.

From 10 a.m. until noon, volunteers from GleanSLO, in partnership with the Cal Poly Crops Unit, will be picking citrus at the Cal Poly mandarin orchard to donate to the SLO Food Bank. Community members can volunteer to help and will receive a free T-shirt and gardening gloves.

From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Campus Dining partners VFC (Vegan Fried Chicken), Impossible Foods, Cal Poly Grown, Jamba, Vitco Foods and Coca Cola will have samples of vegan fried chicken tenders, meatless sliders, imperfectly delicious fruit, plant-based smoothies, jams, chocolates, as well as free reusable straws at Vista Grande.

The Cal Poly Zero Waste Ambassadors will be available to show attendees how they can help Cal Poly go zero waste with games and activities at Vista Grande. The LEED Gold-certified facility will also host a student group, in support of the Cal Recycle grant, to teach attendees about recycling. Members of the U.S. Green Chamber of Commerce will be on hand to allow students and staff to take a Global Climate Pledge to protect the planet by reducing their carbon footprint.

Cal Poly Executive Chef Chris Dunham will be running a Teaching Kitchen to show attendees how to make a Thai-style peanut noodle salad using common leftovers as one simple and delicious step to reduce food waste. Free samples will be available. The demonstrations will start at 11 a.m., 12 and 1 p.m.

Throughout the day and during dinner, a plant-forward menu will be available at Streats, Noodles and Hearth in Vista Grande, featuring buffalo cauliflower pizza, barbecue plant-based chicken pizza, PLANT’D Bibimbap bowls, Udon noodle bowls, papas con chorizo plant-based tacos, PLANT’D chicken tinga burritos and more.

In addition to the event at Vista Grande, Campus Market will be serving meatless barbecue options, and a salad bar takeover will replace all protein options with plant-forward alternatives for a more sustainable dining experience.