Catherine (Katie) Crombetz

School: Madonna University ‘17

Major: Biochemistry & Piano Performance

FRN Experience: Founder & President of the Madonna Food Recovery Network Chapter 2015-2016, Executive Chair of the FRN Student & Alumni Advisory Board 2017-present

What was your favorite memory from experiences with FRN?
One of my favorite memories is a simple phone call I received from my contact at our partner agency (PA) within the first month of beginning our recoveries. Myself and a few students recovered from our school dining services on a Friday afternoon as usual and delivered the food to the PA right away. Our PA was always so grateful no matter what we showed up with each week, but this week in particular my contact called me the day after the recovery to further express his thanks for our new partnership.

“Once people knew that they could recover food  to help the community, it wasn’t just the students who did not want to see the food go into the trash

One piece of advice you would give to Chapters in Process (CHIPs) or Official Chapters (OCs) that are struggling?
Don’t give up! Even if things are progressing slowly, continue to recover when you can, even if you have limited volunteers continue to advocate for food recovery in your school and community, even if it just means a conversation with a student in the hallway between classes. Your impact is important whether it is small or large!

Can you give a brief description of what the Student Alumni Advisory Board (SAAB) is for those who don’t know what exactly it is?
SAAB is a group of students and alumni, who are interested in sharing their own experiences and knowledge with FRN National, chapters and chapters in progress. We want to be an educational resource and to create additional opportunities for the movement.

How would you like the network to utilize the Student Alumni Advisory Board?
I would love to see SAAB grow to be a unique bridge between the students and FRN National as a way to increase communication and collaboration. I’m hoping students turn to us for advice, resources, and idea generation! This board is composed of incredibly passionate people from across the country who have diverse experiences with FRN recoveries and chapter practices.

“When you think about all the extra things we do in our daily routines; taking the extra step to recover or donate food becomes small.”


Do you still participate in any food recovery/feeding the hungry activities now?
I recently started volunteering with a street medicine program that distributes food, among other necessities like clothing and medical supplies, to those who need it in Detroit. The food is not currently recovered but now that I have this connection I’m hoping to work on finding ways to provide recovered food to this team and others that are servicing those in need out on the streets!

“My hope is for food recovery to not only spread to each college campus,

but for the practice to be norm for all businesses.”

Did you know?

  • Katie and her family members know how to unicycle

  • She still has a voicemail from one of her hunger fighting partner agencies sharing his gratitude from one of the recoveries saved on her phone that she listens to when she needs a little inspiration of the good in the world

Connect with Katie Further:

Facebook: Katie Crombez
Twitter: @KatieCrombez
Instagram: ktcrombez
LinkedIn: Catherine Crombez