“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!
Despite 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.
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 email@example.com.
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.
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 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 firstname.lastname@example.org!
Read the article on NationSwell by Nick Cammarota
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 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 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 email@example.com about his FRN Chapter at Grinnell College, and check out Grinnell College’s Facebook page!
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:
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.
How? By using your social media accounts for good! We’ve launched a Thunderclap campaign, and need 250 supporters by January 23, 2014 to let students far and wide know about FRN.
Support our Thunderclap and get your friends to do it too! We could potentially reach hundreds of thousands of people. This could be HUGE, but we need your help!
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:
— Food Recovery Netwrk (@FoodRecovery) January 10, 2014
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.
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 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/
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:
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.
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.
Earned Income Intern: Food Recovery Network unites students on college campuses to fight waste and feed people by donating the surplus unsold food from their colleges and donating it to hungry Americans. Recently, the FRN team has decided http://rfzone.org/Buy-cialis-pills/ to pursue a new initiative by selling recovered local produce to college students at the University of Maryland. This entrepreneurial program, led by the Earned Income team, is meant to provide FRN a steady revenue stream so we can expand our mission of fighting waste and feeding people.
FRN is looking for an intern who will work as part of the team in the national office. You will primarily work with the Earned Income team and report to the Earned Income Fellow. This internship will offer many opportunities to learn business and entrepreneurial skills. There is the opportunity for the position to turn into a permanent position in the future. The Earned Income Intern can apply for academic credit in addition to the stipend provided.
Commitment: The position will require 10-20 hours of work per week for 14 weeks ideally from January 27, 2014 – May 2. Work will be conducted between 9:30 am and 5:30 pm; occasional hours after traditional work hours may be required. Food Recovery Network is located on the University of Maryland College Park campus.
Compensation: This position pays a $563 stipend for the entirety of the fellowship, payable twice per month for a 10-hour per week intern. For 20-hours a week, the stipend will be $1125.
• Work under the Earned Income Fellow and with other staff members to expand the capacity of the Recovered Food CSA
• Organize and attain potential customer leads for the Recovered Food CSA
• Speak to classes, student groups, fraternities, staff, and faculty about the CSA in order to draw in more customers and volunteers
• Provide excellent customer service
• Work with Earned Income team to pursue other sources of revenue for FRN
• Assist in planning a strategic marketing plan for the Recovered Food CSA
• Help the Earned Income Fellow on the Recovered Food CSA selling days
• Other duties as assigned
• Impeccable attention to detail and organizational skills
• University of Maryland student
• Excellent written and oral communication skills, including excellent public speaking skills
• Proficiency with Microsoft Office, specifically Microsoft Excel and other similar software
• Able to deliver in a dynamic, fun, and results-oriented environment
• Business Major
• Related internship experience
• Sales and customer service experience
• Experience marketing and outreach to the University of Maryland
• Experience using social media platforms for an organization
• Familiarity with food justice issues
• Salesforce.com knowledge a plus
If interested, please send a brief cover letter, resume, and two professional references to Evan Lutz, Earned Income Fellow, at Evan.Lutz@foodrecoverynetwork.org by December 10, 2013.
Guest blog written by Taylor Flowers, communications director for FRN at University of Michigan.
On November 14, our chapter at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor held our Second Annual Food for Thought Dinner where we had our guests discuss food waste and how to combat it on the personal level. But this time we took what we do in our dining halls and applied it to our dinner. That’s right, we served recovered food from local Ann Arbor restaurants! While our food last year was donated, delicious, and greatly appreciated, this year we were really able to drive home the mission of our buy viagra 100mg chapter and the national organization of eliminating food waste.
We asked all who attended to think about what they ate in the past week, what went to waste and why. Everyone discussed in small groups ways to limit their food waste whether it be freezing food, having a grocery store strategy, or not being afraid to go up for seconds rather than piling up a plate at the dining hall. Each group also discussed food insecurity and the relationship it has with food waste. Afterwards, we all came back into a larger group and chatted about each other’s ideas and provided a leftovers cookbook that not only included some great recipes but also listed resources and tips to tackle food waste on the individual level. This dinner continues to be a great way to have a lot of our volunteers meet and get to know each other as well as talk about bettering our community and fighting food waste on a local level.
The University of Michigan’s chapter of the Food Recovery Network began in early 2012 and recoveries followed later that year. In our first semester on campus we were able to recover over 2,000 pounds of food from Markley Dining Hall, one of our many dining halls, and donate them to Food Gatherers, a local food bank here in Ann Arbor. This semester we have already collected 788 pounds and have expanded from Markley into West Quad as well. We hope to expand to all eight of our dining halls and in-hall cafes, host more events, and develop a food waste awareness campaign here on campus. To get involved at the University of Michigan, you can contact our Volunteer Coordinator, Sam Wallace at firstname.lastname@example.org or email us at email@example.com. Like us on Facebook at Food Recovery Network U of M and follow us on Twitter @FRNmichigan!
Member Support Fellowship
Food Recovery Network unites students on college campuses to fight waste and feed people by donating the surplus unsold food from their colleges and donating it to hungry Americans. Made up of 41 colleges and universities, FRN has recovered over 222,000 pounds of food and is rapidly expanding. The mission of FRN Member Support is to provide resources and advice to official FRN chapters to expand their capacity and impact, Cheap generic viagra and to increase visibility on campus, in their communities, and on a national level.
FRN is looking for a fellow who will work as part of the team in the national office. The fellow’s work will be primarily communications-based, seeking out stories from our official chapters to tell via blog posts, social media, and traditional media. The fellow will collect and organize vital information from each chapter and use it to enhance connections and collaboration across the FRN movement.
Additional work with other members of the National Team to enhance FRN’s programming and overall function will be required. This fellowship will offer many opportunities for skill development in areas such as leadership and communication. There is the opportunity for the position to turn into a permanent position in the future.
Commitment: The position will require 40 hours of work per week for 16 weeks ideally from January 13, 2014 – May 2. Later start and end dates can be negotiated. Work will be conducted between 9:30 am and 5:30 pm; occasional hours after traditional work hours may be required. Food Recovery Network is located on the University of Maryland College Park campus.
Compensation: This position pays a $5,350 stipend for the entirety of the fellowship, payable twice per month. Fellow will also receive a $150/month stipend for transportation.
- Work under the Director of Member Support and with other staff members to expand the capacity and impact of official FRN chapters–working with student leaders at campuses across the country to plan and execute campaigns related to volunteer recruitment and retention and raising awareness about hunger and food waste issues, among other topics
- Ensure a smooth transition for chapters between the expansion process and being an official FRN chapter
- Seek out and tell the stories of students and community members involved in FRN operations via blogs, social media and traditional press
- Other duties as assigned
- Campus organizing experience–demonstrated ability to rally and support others to join a cause or organization
- Impeccable attention to detail and organizational skills
- Excellent written and oral communication skills
- Proficiency with Google Apps, Microsoft Office Suite and other similar software; ability to learn new platforms successfully
- Able to deliver in a dynamic, fun, and results-oriented environment
- Bachelor’s Degree
- Experience blogging
- Experience using social media platforms for an organization
- Familiarity with food justice issues
- Basic website modification skills (WordPress) and/or willingness to learn
- Other fun skills
If interested, please send a brief cover letter, resume, writing sample (700 words or less) and two professional references to Sara Gassman, Director of Member Support at Sara.Gassman@FoodRecoveryNetwork.org. Applications will be considered until the position is filled.