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FRN @Brown – What I’ve Gleaned From Gleaning

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FRN @Brown – What I’ve Gleaned From Gleaning

The following is a guest post from Michelle Zheng, the Special Events Coordinator for FRN@Brown! Have a look below, as Michelle shares her own take on a different kind of food recovery:  gleaning.

“I went on a gleaning trip this weekend!”

“What? What did you clean?”

“No, gleaning, with a G.”

Most haven’t gleaned more than information from a book, but gleaning has another definition that’s important to know about. It’s also the act of gathering surplus crops that would otherwise go to waste from fields when farms don’t have the resources or time to harvest everything they’ve grown. A practice with biblical origins, farmers would leave excess produce in their fields as a form of charity, so that strangers and the poor could gather the food. Nowadays, gleaning practiced by humanitarian groups, but the principle is still the same: redistribute excess food to those in need. And what FRN does on college campuses can be considered gleaning in a more modern context: the dining halls are now the fields, and leftover food the crops.

But this doesn’t mean that we can’t practice gleaning as it’s traditionally defined as well.

Here at Brown, we decided to try gleaning for ourselves. After contacting a few farms, we got a response from Pippin Orchard, a local farm located just half an hour away from campus that graciously welcomed us to come and pick as we liked at the end of their season.

So on a sunny Saturday in November, we drove over as a group of nine to see what we could recover. With us were both FRNds from campus and from the Rhode Island Homeless Advocacy Project (RIHAP). After we were greeted by Farmer Joe, who came out to greet us with oven mitts still on both hands (the smell of Thanksgiving pie wafting from behind him hinted at why), we headed out to the orchard to pick apples – buckets, crates and bags in hand.

The trees were so laden with apples in the area we were picking from that dozens of apples would literally fall off a tree if you gave it a nice shake. It was clear that we could’ve recovered several times as many apples were it not for transportation difficulties – we ran out of containers, and only had a truck and a car to load our harvest on. After hardly more than an hour, we had already filled every single one of our containers to the brim with apples as fresh as they come. And if that wasn’t enough, the icing on our already robust gleaning cake, so to speak, was already-harvested pumpkin that Pippin had just sitting around, unused after Halloween. We then toasted our success with some apple cider and snacks, chatting about everything from how classes were going for us students to the experiences of our friends from RIHAP.rsz_cimg4237

After weighing everything back on campus, we arrived at our grand total: 703 pounds of tasty, tasty produce. 703 pounds from just one morning of gleaning, and potentially so much more had we been more prepared with transportation. Definitely not the worst way to have spent a Saturday morning.

Gleaning has been on our minds since then. We’re hoping to organize even more gleaning trips next fall, and take advantage of the huge potential sitting out there in the farms around us. Not only is the potential for recovery huge, but the potential to make local connections as well: by gleaning, we can support local agriculture both by helping farmers reduce their waste and allowing them to make tax deductions for the gleaned produce. It’s a vote for sustainable local food systems.

And on top of that, it’s a great community-building activity – anyone can participate and share the thrill of handpicking fruits and vegetables right from the trees and vines they grow from. You’re not going to connect more with the source of your food than this.

Legality is an issue when it comes to organizing gleaning events, but our good old friend the Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act takes care of liability associated with gleaned food, save instances of gross negligence or intentional misconduct. And volunteers can sign liability waivers that prevent growers from legal responsibility in the case that volunteers injure themselves while participating.

Now that I’ve had this experience, I’d love to see other chapters organize gleaning trips as well. It’s as easy as contacting farmers, figuring out a few logistics, and then going out to the fields. And if gleaning from farms isn’t geographically feasible, there’s also urban gleaning, where gleaners collect produce from backyards and public spaces. Both are great ways to translate a hunger for action into the freshest kind of food possible for those who need it. So onwards, my FRNds – get out there and get gleaning!

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 Michelle Zheng is the Special Events Coordinator at FRN @Brown. If you’d like to to reach Michelle to learn more about getting involved with gleaning in your community, you can email her at michelle_zheng@brown.edu. This post originally appeared on the FRN@Brown website

Photos courtesy of Michelle Zheng, Special Events Coordinator, FRN@Brown.

 

FRN Chapter of the Week – Lycoming College

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FRN Chapter of the Week – Lycoming College

To close out March, we spoke with Emily Vebrosky of Lycoming College in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. Our 50th chapter, FRN at Lycoming has been recovering since January of 2014 – but in a short time, this urban school has been extremely successful! Here is what Emily had to say about her chapter at Lycoming College:

FRN: Hi Emily! Thanks for hopping on the call with us! So to start off, how did you decide to start an FRN Chapter at Lycoming College?

EV: We were at PERC (Pennsylvania Environmental Resource Consortium)  at Penn State in October, Eileen was there talking, and we just fell in love with it, and our advisers told us not to start right away, but we didn’t listen – we emailed Eileen the next day!

FRN: That is awesome! What was your chapter’s proudest moment so far?

EV: It would have to be our first recovery. Our cafeteria staff told us that they’ve tried to get a program going for years! They were told that recovering food wasn’t allowed, and that the school couldn’t do it. They were so excited and happy when we started, and that made our group more excited that they were on the same page. Some workers were saying that http://pangeagiving.org/cheap/ it took 5 years to get a program like this!

FRN: Wow! That is great stuff to have staff and your chapter be so committed to the same cause. What was your biggest challenge so far, and how did you overcome it?

EV: At first we couldn’t figure out containers, but we got a grant, which was great! Also, another hurdle we ran into was just people understanding food recoveries. It only took a week to figure out what was going on, though, and we had enough volunteers.

FRN: Cool – it is good to have everyone on the same page from the volunteer side of it. Any funny stories from your experience so far?

EV: We did have someone drop a tray! Originally, it was two of us that had done the recoveries for a week and a half, but we didn’t know how to get more people involved. One day we needed two people to help us recover. The two volunteers spilled some of the recovered food from the trays and then left! We had to deliver the food immediately, so we grabbed someone off the street to help deliver and other member to clean up – and this happened on the second day of recovery! Needless to say, those two people aren’t helping anymore.

FRN: Wow! That is definitely a twist on food recovering! Are there any foods that your chapter is excited to recover in particular?

EV: We are happy for anything, but definitely happy about vegetables! I help at a soup kitchen back home that never served them. The chicken pot pie is a solid meal to recover, and that is about once a week. We also have a vegan and vegetarian thing happening on our campus so a lot of vegetables are available.

FRN: Definitely agree with you on vegetables. The vegan and vegetarian options on campus is a great resource! Could you talk a little bit about your partner agency?

EV: Our partner agency is a community shelter and they feed people who go there. We have a recent graduate who works there, and the shelter is open 24 hours, which makes delivering food a lot easier. We are able to drop off whenever, and there is always someone waiting for the food. It is really quick and easy to drop off our recovered food, and we are looking to volunteer with them soon.

FRN: That sounds like a really convenient relationship you have! It is also really great to see that you are looking to work with the shelter beyond just bringing food to them. Being a relatively new chapter yourself, do you have any pieces of advice that you have for new chapters?

EV: Don’t stop if someone tells you that you can’t start a chapter, because there is always a way to figure it out. Also, don’t wait! Because if we would have waited, we don’t know when we would have eventually started!

FRN: Awesome advice! We are really happy that you acted on that excitement and became a chapter! Looking forward to seeing what comes out of Lycoming College in the future, and thanks again!

 

If you’d like to get in touch with Emily about her work at Lycoming College, her email address is vebemil@lycoming.edu

FRN Chapter of the Week – University of Rochester

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FRN Chapter of the Week – University of Rochester

Hello! We are serving up our Chapter of the Week segments, highlighting different FRN Chapters across the nation, and sharing their hard work, stories, and the impact that being made on their campus and community.

This week we spoke with Sara Ribakove from the University of Rochester! This FRN Chapter was founded in late 2013, and is located in Rochester, New York, and is home to approximately 6,000 students. Here is what Sara had to say about her chapter in Rochester:

FRN: Hi Sara! So first of all, how did you decide to start an FRN Chapter at Rochester?

SR: We found out about FRN from a TV segment, the Do Something Awards, where they presented an award to FRN.  It seemed easy to start and a great thing to do! As a Public Health major, I find opportunities such as this to be both necessary for college students to engage in. The application was simple and everything fell into place from there. It is not the most epic story, but it seemed something the community could use and we went for it.

FRN: Very cool. It doesn’t need to be epic, it is the cause that counts! What was your chapter’s proudest moment so far?

SR: There are a lot of proud moments, but we recently got the stamp of approval from our school to be an official campus organization! We’ve had ”preliminary status” for a while and we spent a couple months showing that we are capable of following our mission statement.  Receiving the stamp of approval allows us to function as a recognized club on the campus, and ensures longevity for the club’s.  It’s been an interesting yet stressful process.  Becoming an official organization within one school year is a big success for us.

FRN: Making a group on campus definitely helps with making the group sustainable. What was your biggest challenge so far, and how did you overcome it?  

SR: We haven’t really had any major speed bumps.  Thankfully we’ve had a receptive community, both administrative and student-wise. One small hurdle we’ve had to deal with is having more bagels to donate than our shelter can handle.  We’ve been working with our dining services to reduce the number of bagels and have also looked into donating the excess bagels to other locations. 

FRN: That actually has come up with other schools too!

SR:  We’re still working on it with dining services and seeing if we can reduce the number of bagels that come to the university in the first place! And we’re also trying to reach more partner agencies to find a home for the overflow of bagels.

FRN: That is a great approach to finding more partner agencies that can take surplus foods! Are there any foods that your chapter is excited to recover in particular?

SR: We are always excited when we recover proteins, including various meats and chicken. It’s nice to know that when we retrieve food, it is enough to serve as main meal and not just supplement a dish. We recently received an email from our partner agency’s manager saying that they were making a bean soup entirely from donations – that’s rewarding!

FRN: Nice! You mentioned you donate to a soup kitchen. Could you tell us about your relationship with your partner agency?

SR: Our relationship with our partner agency, St. Peter’s Kitchen, is one of the highlights of our chapter. St. Peter’s Kitchen is a local lunch soup kitchen that serves upwards of 140 people every weekday. We have a dynamic relationship with them – we work with them if we can’t get food over to them for some reason, such as if the weather isn’t great, as it often is in Rochester, and they have been really accepting and understanding. Currently we are working on a video between dining services, chapter, and St. Peter’s Kitchen to highlight the process.  

Additionally, our whole chapter will be going there in early April and having lunch with clientele, eating the same meals, and working to overcoming the stigmas and stereotypes that comes with community members that go to soup kitchen for lunch. This whole experience has taught us a lot, and we continue to learned even more from the director, Patty, because she is a wonderful, warm person. We do as much as we can for them, but realistically they have done more for us.  They opened their doors to us, and we both benefit from it.  It is great because they are a short drive too! We feel like its actually helping your neighbor.

FRN: That is fantastic to see such an awesome relationship with St. Peter’s Kitchen! Helping and learning from each other is really fulfilling. Do you have any pieces of advice that you have for new chapters?

SR: I would say two things: firstly, its important to realize that students on campus are usually on meal plans, so you don’t necessarily see food insecurity in campus, but its going on in general community of your school. Hunger isn’t always seen, but its present in the community. And secondly, sometimes there are those challenges, but its entirely worth it for the reward of giving back to your local community because they appreciate more than they tell you.

FRN: For sure. Hunger is something that isn’t so obvious for us to see. Thanks for an amazing interview and looking forward to hearing great things from the University of Rochester in the future!

If you’d like to contact Sara Ribakove about her chapter at University of Rochester, you can email her at sribakov@u.rochester.edu

 

 

Smart and Sustainable Food Recovery

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Smart and Sustainable Food Recovery

“I’m always amazed at the amount of food I see at conferences,” one passerby said in the exhibit hall at the Smart and Sustainable Campuses Conference, “Can you imagine how much you could recover from here?”

Turns out, we didn’t have to guess! On March 3 and 4, 2014, Sara and Eileen from the FRN National team ventured to the Hyatt Regency hotel in Baltimore, MD for the Smart and Sustainable Campuses Conference. We hosted an exhibit booth about Food Recovery Network and coordinated two food recoveries from the conference itself!

IMG_0677Despite the snow on Monday, we were able to execute a recovery to Project Plase, Inc., where FRN at Goucher College brings the food they recover. At 2 pm we gathered our aluminum trays and met Katherine Gallagher, Convention Services Manager, and Ashley Uher, Meeting Concierge Supervisor in the lobby. They led us to a top-secret location in the depths of the hotel (just kidding, it was the kitchen complex on the second floor!) for a brief behind-the-scenes tour of ways the hotel already reduces food waste, including a staff dining room where many leftovers are served instead of trashed.

Back in the entry hall to the kitchen, there was a tall cart full of trays of leftover lunch food–green beans and tomatoes, roasted fingerling potatoes, mushroom tarts, vegan ravioli and gluten free meals that had been prepared but not requested or eaten by conference guests. We rolled up our sleeves, washed our hands and got scooping! The food fit neatly into six containers, and then it was into the car for the drive over to Project Plase, which addresses homelessness in Baltimore by providing housing and other services for adults in need, and conducts important advocacy work to change and improve current policies.

The first afternoon of the SSCC kept us busy as we chatted with students, sustainability officers, consultants and other sustainability professionals. It was exciting to hear about sustainable food-related initiatives from campuses across the country, and we even met a few students who have volunteered with an FRN chapter! We had the pleasure of talking to Scott Vadney, one of the general managers of dining at the Rochester Institute of Technology, where our chapter Recover Rochester has diverted nearly 6,000 pounds of food from the landfill this year alone. Scott opened his kitchen to the dining managers of neighboring University of Rochester to see the recovery process firsthand; U of R has been recovering food with FRN since the middle of last semester.

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Volunteers from FRN at Goucher help pack up and transport food recovered from the Smart and Sustainable Campuses Conference.

On Tuesday, two volunteers from FRN at Goucher joined us for the recovery, helping us pack up the leftovers, including pea soup. We always hear from our chapters that soup is a challenge to recover, so here’s a #ProTip:  Make sure you don’t overfill the ziplock bag and be sure to seal it before transporting the soup. Whoops… With some quick thinking we narrowly avoided a major soup disaster.

In all, we recovered about 110 pounds of food–about 90 meals’ worth–from the conference and are looking forward to more conference recoveries in the future! The SSCC is a conference during which attendees not only “talk the talk” but also is a place where organizers and attendees “walk the walk,” as the conference is carbon-neutral, much of the food is locally sourced, and very little waste is created. It was exciting and rewarding to work with the SSCC to fight waste and feed people this year.

If you are interested in recovering food from your conference, contact your local FRN chapter or email info@foodrecoverynetwork.org.

 

About the Author:  Sara Gassman is the Director of Member Support and Communications at Food Recovery Network. She suggests you follow @FoodRecovery on Twitter and like Food Recovery Network on Facebook for all the latest and greatest from across the movement. If you prefer more elaborate communications, sign up for our e-newsletter. We won’t bombard you. Promise.

FRN Chapter of the Week – Allegheny College

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FRN Chapter of the Week – Allegheny College

Hello! We are serving up our Chapter of the Week segments, highlighting different FRN Chapters across the nation, and sharing their hard work, stories, and the impact that being made on their campus and community.

This week we spoke with Kristi Allen from Allegheny College in Meadville, Pennsylvania. Food Rescue has been an official FRN chapter since the fall of 2013, and is on pace to crack their first 1,000 pounds of donations this semester! Here is what Kristi shared with us about her chapter at Allegheny College.

 

FRN: Hello Kristi! Thanks for taking some time to chat! What would be  Food Rescue’s proudest moment so far?

KA: Our proudest moment as a chapter would probably be when we have gotten so many cialis online more volunteers this semester. It is great to see everyone excited to help out.

FRN: For sure. The more help the better. Have you had to overcome any obstacles? If so, how did you overcome them?

KA: Our biggest challenge was getting the word out on campus about our organization. We have had a lot more interest than the last semester and a lot of people want to get involved. Some of what we did included going to a forum on local food and hunger. Many of the people there were just learning about our program and had volunteers to send our way.

FRN: That is awesome! Really creative idea for attending a forum – that definitely helps get the word out. When you’re doing recoveries, is there any food that you are excited to recover? Or are there any unique foods to Allegheny that you recover?

KA: We are always excited to rescue meat because it is not something we can often get. We also love rescuing ‘kid friendly’ foods like mac and cheese or french toast because one of our partner agencies feeds women and their children. It’s great to know we have something the kids love. I think a unique food we recovered would be the tater tot casserole. I’ve never seen anything like it before coming to Allegheny, but it’s a great mixture of tater tots and meat (two great things to rescue!).

FRN: Definitely. It always helps when the food you recover happens to be a favorite with those who are eating it!  You said that one of your partner agencies feeds women and their children, could you tell us a little about your partner agencies?

KA: Our partner agencies are CHAPS, St. James Haven, and Women’s Services. CHAPS supports people with mental health illnesses and helps to improve the mental health services available in the local area. They also help people in the area that are homeless or nearly homeless with housing advocacy. St. James Haven is a shelter for homeless men in the area. Women’s Services offers shelter for women in distress and their dependent children and counseling and advocacy for members http://dailykhabarnama.com/buy/ of the community that have experienced violence or sexual assault. They are also a part of educating the community on violence and abuse. All three of our partner agencies do so much for the community – it is really great to be able to help them through our Food Rescue program.

FRN: It sounds like you’ve got a solid base of partner agencies to work with! So as we wrap this up, do you have any advice for chapters that are just starting?

KA: For new chapters I would say it’s important to find volunteers who are enthusiastic about what you are trying to do and to find partner agencies that you can really help out. It offers a lot of encouragement to keep doing what we do each day.

FRN: Of course. Being able to enjoy what your group is doing and knowing that it is for a good cause is really fulfilling. Well that’s about it, and thanks for taking the time to chat!

 

*To date, Allegheny College has recovered over 600 pounds of food*

If you’d like to contact Kristi about Food Rescue at Allegheny College, you can email the group at foodrescue@allegheny.edu!

FRN Chapter of the Week – Grinnell College

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FRN Chapter of the Week – Grinnell College

 

Hello! We are serving up our Chapter of the Week segments, highlighting different FRN Chapters across the nation, and sharing their hard work, stories, and the impact that being made on their campus and community.

This week we spoke with Dylan J. Bondy, who leads the FRN Chapter at Grinnell College in Grinnell, Iowa. The rural college is home to 1650 students, and the FRN Chapter began in May of 2013. Here is what Dylan had to say about his chapter at Grinnell.

FRN: Hey Dylan! Thanks for chatting with us about your FRN Chapter at Grinnell College. Could you tell everyone about your proudest moment so far as a Chapter?

DB: My proudest moment was actually a delivery just two weeks ago, where we were able to give 95 lbs of food to 8 different families with nothing leftover. This moment was 1 year in the making, so to finally see the program working for the first time was really incredible. Getting to interact with the people that are receiving it (the food), and the thanks we receive from these families, is really sweet. I’m really happy to have a model like this, as sometimes donating food ends up being a number (weight), and not a name, or a family, or a person. Dealing directly with these people, and the town of Grinnell, makes us feel more connected to the community.

FRN: That’s awesome! Making those connections with the community is definitely important. Have you had an obstacles that you’ve viagra online discount had to overcome? And how did you overcome them?

DB: Initially there were no partner agencies with the infrastructure to serve hot meals in our community, so we created it, and actually recover and distribute the meals ourselves. We are very fortunate to have Deanna Shorb, our Chaplain at Grinnell, who has helped to secure funding for a fridge to store our recovered food, and find a space for viagra online real it in our student union. Deanna Shorb also connected us with the First Presbyterian Church’s pastor Kirsten Klepfer, and with David and Linda Cranston, who helped create our distribution program, as well as organize church volunteers, and a voucher buy viagra online system for families to receive meals.

FRN: Great job finding campus and community partners to find solutions! When your chapter recovers food, is there any food you are excited to recover in particular?

DB: All of it is exciting! Because of the long-winded nature of trying (to recover) for 10 months from Last April to this beginning of February, we are excited to recover anything and everything! One food group in particular that stands out to me though is veggies. Families in our area have limited access to vegetables, so the ability to give greens to local families is exciting. We sometimes have 90-95 servings of vegetables to dole out, which works out to be about 2-3 portions per person! Often times, these families wouldn’t have access to them otherwise.

FRN: For sure! After a long process, just getting any sort of donations helps! Could you talk about the partner agencies that you are working with?

DB: Across the street from campus is First Presbyterian Church, where we were connected with the Cranstons. That’s where our distributions happen. We also work with MICA, Mid-Iowa Community Action. MICA receives non-perishable donations, such as prepackaged snacks from Grinnell College students, and also helped David Cranston to create a voucher system for families to receive meals at distributions. Dining services has also been an incredible help. Dining workers actually will pack up the food for us! All we need to do is pick it up at each meal, put it in our fridge and the following day we take the food for distribution. We’re so lucky to have the support of Dick Williams, Director of Dining Services. He has been exceptionally helpful in getting our program on its feet, and extremely supportive. We can’t thank them enough!

FRN: So that is definitely a pretty widespread network. It is great to see a lot of different pieces coming together! Do you have any advice for any new chapters just starting?

DB: Definitely — specifically for rural chapters – remember that even when things seem really tough, and you keep getting no’s from every direction, keep on pushing! You will be able to get a program started if you persevere! If there is food available and a need for it in your community, there is no reason you shouldn’t be able to get a chapter up and running.

Remember, you can find volunteers/partners in places you may have never thought of. Perhaps it wont be just College-to-Food-Bank. It could be a combination; new site, volunteering with community members and groups, lots of diff opportunities to find community partners. Just don’t allow yourself to be stifled when you hear no, because that will be inevitable. You just have to keep moving on!

FRN: Of course!! Sometimes it isn’t really an easy process, and its awesome to see that your chapter pushed through those obstacles. Thanks for your time and keep up the awesome accomplishments that your chapter has made so far!

* To date, the Grinnell College Chapter of FRN has recovered over 750 lbs. of food *

If you want to contact Dylan, you can email him at bondydyl@grinnell.edu about his FRN Chapter at Grinnell College, and check out Grinnell College’s Facebook page!

Join the #FRNdzy!

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Join the #FRNdzy!

Here at FRN HQ, we’re lucky enough to include about 700 motivated, world-changing students in our collective network. Every day, we email, text and call some of the hardest working and dedicated people in campus communities across the country with the mission of fighting waste and feeding people together.

Two years ago, when FRN was just getting started, viagra online sales the founding student leaders made a few phone calls to friends on other campuses to encourage them to start chapters. By May 2011, there were FRN chapters at 23 campuses. That was when most phones looked like this:

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Phone from 2011.

Over the next two weeks, we’re asking you to pick up your phones (assuming they look like this 2014 model below) and help us reach over 100,000 new FRNds.

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2014 model!

How? By using your social media accounts for good! We’ve launched a Thunderclap campaign, and need 250 supporters viagra online pfizer by January 23, 2014 to let students far and wide know about FRN.

Sit back on January 23 and watch the magic happen ;) SHARE the Facebook post and Tweet below to get your networks involved!

SHARE this post on Facebook:

 

And give us a RT:

Food Security @Fresno State

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Food Security @Fresno State

The following is a guest blog post from Anoy Phuangsavath, student at California State University, Fresno, where the Food Recovery Network chapter started in the Fall 2013 semester as part of sociology lecturer Dr. Janine Nkosi’s class. Read about their food insecurity awareness event and their amazingly successful first recovery below.

 

In fall 2013, California State University, Fresno (CSUF) sociology students engaged in critical service-learning projects by serving the community and conducting research on the structural causes that lead to food insecurity and food waste and its impact on people’s lives and the environment. To deepen their understanding of the research, students dedicated their time serving at local community benefit organizations (CBOs) to witness firsthand the face of food insecurity and work alongside individuals making a difference in their community. Sociology lecturer Dr. Janine Nkosi believes that education should be a vehicle for social change. Her approach to teaching and learning is simple: teach students about the issues, get them out into the community to see the issues firsthand, and partner with community benefit organizations to take action.

While researching and serving, students discovered that the paradox of food waste and food insecurity is an even greater anomaly in the Central Valley of California. According to Feeding America, in 2012, 14.5% of U.S. households were food insecure. In California, there were 17.4% of households and in Fresno 20.8% of households were food insecure. For Fresno State students, the incongruity is clear; Fresno is located in the San Joaquin Valley, which is one of the most productive agricultural regions in the United States. According to the California Dept. of Food and Agriculture, California is home to a $35 billion agricultural industry, and nine of the ten most productive agricultural counties in the United States are in California. Yet, on any given night 1 in 3 children in the Central Valley goes to bed hungry.

Sociology students debunk the myth that only people living in poverty experience food insecurity

Sociology students debunk the myth that only people living in poverty experience food insecurity

With information gleaned from their research and service learning, students were eager to share their knowledge and experience with the campus community. Their projects led to the creation of an awareness event “Food Security @Fresno State” where more than 80 students from sociology classes, the American Humanics program, and the Sociology Club created table displays with information to raise awareness about food insecurity and food waste. Tables were set-up to explain the myriad of macro and micro level social issues. Some addressed the issue of http://siedc.org/wp/ waste and its impact on the environment, others focused on the paradox of hunger and obesity, and the impact of food insecurity on health and wellness, education outcomes, childhood development, and pregnancy.

Fresno State student leaders discussed early on that one of the problems addressing food insecurity is the misconception of those whom are impacted. This often leads to a stigma and becomes taboo. Food Security @Fresno State shed light on the topic and invited students to speak up and put a real face to the issue of food insecurity at Fresno State. Students demonstrated that food insecurity comes in many forms and it affects people in different ways. In this open forum, Fresno State students were encouraged to engage in dialogue without feeling shame or guilt. Tuition fees, textbook costs, rent, bills and access to affordable healthy foods were among the many factors that contribute to food insecurity among college students. That’s why Fresno State students, professors and administrators are collaborating and taking action against food waste and food insecurity.

Food Recovery leaders at Fresno State attempted a synergetic social media campaign via Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Vine to encourage everyone to be proactive in raising awareness beyond the campus. The objective of alleviating guilt and shame about food insecurity is the first step. What may once feel like a personal problem, when shared in a public space, can lift the burden of self-blame and get to the root causes and solutions. Fresno State leaders geared up for their first significant generic viagra 100mg food recovery on December 20th. As University Dining Services prepared to close for the winter break, FRN leaders recovered 2,114.6 pounds of food from the dining hall and delivered it to the Bulldog Pantry and the Education & Leadership Foundation for distribution to Fresno State students and community members experiencing food insecurity. Fresno State leaders are also planning a second food security awareness campaign for spring 2014, which will include a campus-wide study of food security.

Anoy Phuangsavath is a student majoring in sociology at California State University, Fresno

Dr. Janine Nkosi is a sociology lecturer at California State University, Fresno

Link to article in the Collegian at Fresno State: http://collegian.csufresno.edu/2013/12/04/student-group-to-fight-campus-food-waste/

FRN Joins UN’s Zero Hunger Challenge

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FRN Joins UN’s Zero Hunger Challenge

Over the past two years, the Food Recovery Network has provided nearly 190,000 meals to hungry Americans. Without FRN that food would have otherwise ended up in the landfill. We are building a strong and growing movement of college and university students across the country who are actively working to end hunger in their communities by recovering surplus perishable food from their campus dining halls and bringing it to local nonprofits.

FRN is proud to announce our participation in the United Nation’s Zero Hunger Challenge, a global initiative to end hunger in our lifetimes. FRN joins dozens of other nonprofits and UN programs working around the world to address food insecurity. The ZHC is based on five principles established by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon at the 2012 Rio+20 summit:

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The Zero Hunger Challenge encourages ”participation by a range of organizations, social movements and people around a common vision…to promote effective strategies, more investments and increased development cooperation, in line with existing national and international agreements. They strive for results and are accountable for their efforts – particularly to those who are hungry.

The principles of the ZHC and its focus on solutions align readily with what we do at the Food Recovery Network. Wasted food drains our resources and causes environmental damage–consider the water used for irrigation, the air pollution caused from fossil fuel combustion as food is transported, and the 135 million tons of greenhouse gases emitted by food in landfills every year. Eliminating food waste and reducing the related environmental impacts will help increase the sustainability of our food systems overall. All FRN chapters not only fight waste and feed people, they also work to raise awareness around topics of food waste, hunger and food justice, reaching a collective 600,000 students and countless faculty, staff and community members.

We’ve welcomed 20 new chapters to the Food Recovery Network since August 2013, and aim to be on 1,000 campuses and to have donated 10 million pounds of food by 2018. We’re committed to solving the heavily intertwined issues of food waste and hunger in America. At 43 colleges and universities across the nation, it’s no longer the status quo to toss extra food into the trash at the end of the night–instead, a team of students swoop in and package up the extra lasagna, soup, taco meat, bread and other delicious and nutritious items and drive, bike or walk the items to shelters, transitional homes, after-school programs and other nonprofits that serve meals to the community.

Look out for more from the Zero Hunger Challenge on Twitter and Facebook.

College and university students are invited to join the Food Recovery Network in participating in the Zero Hunger Challenge by starting an FRN chapter on their campus. View our official chapters and chapters in the works, or apply to bring FRN to your campus.

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