School: Texas Christian University ‘18
Job: KIND Snacks Ambassador and Graduate Assistant for the TCU Department of Kinesiology
FRN Experience: The senior class before her started the chapter as a service project with Dietetics Program which requires 2,000 hours of experience in order to take the exam. She interviewed for the Vice President position once the chapter was established and assisted in both chapter operations, food recovering and helping serve at their Partner Agency.
Favorite Food: Cherries or Sweet Potatoes
Reducing Food waste and hunger have always been a part of Petra’s values. From her father’s experience being in Austria during World War 2, surviving off scraps of food found, she was raised that wasting food was not an option. Even in high school, she remembers being with her mom at a Speedway gas station asking if they could donate the baked goods that repeatedly are tossed at 9PM on the dot to a local shelter. Petra joined FRN to help reduce food waste and for the opportunity to serve others. TCU’s Chapter not only recovers food from their campus and stadiums, but they also help serve and sit with the patrons of their partner agency. This has been something that was implemented since the founding, and an opportunity that is cherished from both sides.
Her TCU Honors project was also on food waste and recovery with a focus on restaurants and homeless shelters in the Fort Worth, Texas area. While not all the restaurants reported food waste as high priority at their establishment, 100% agreed that food waste is a problem. Furthermore, when surveying homeless shelters in Fort Worth, 81% agreed that their shelters would benefit from excess food donations from restaurants.
“FRN FILLS THE GAP.”
Food Recovery Network was more than just something to put on a resume. From a class that required students to work in dining services, she witnessed food waste taking place at the football stadium. Not only did her chapter start recovering over 2,000 pounds of food from there, but they also began a partnership with Cowboy Composting.
Petra, is currently a graduate student at TCU studying Kinesiology so she can pursue a career in Sports Medicine. She is still in contact with her chapter, but spends her time studying, working, and serving as KIND Brand Ambassador. KIND’s mission of doing one kind thing to impact someone related to her personal values and her work with FRN.
“We (KIND) donate products consistently from charities, wellness companies to those in need. I’ve gotten a chance to meet people and impact their lives. Even if it is just giving someone a bar. We did one campaign where we would give two bars and tell people to keep one and make an impact in someone’s day with the other.”
Petra has been hands-on in creating KIND’s nutritional educational platform for all ambassadors in the United States. With her background in dietetics, she emailed the CEO about her passion and educational background, which lead the way for the field work she is also doing now. The program details the nutritional value of the bars, to help colleagues answer questions they get about KIND products.
“Hard work is easier when you feel worthy of doing”
When asked what advice to give to those struggling with their chapter and food recovery, she replied that no action is too little. “The impact and difference you make has to start somewhere.”
A unique trait of the TCU FRN Chapter is that each semester they set a goal for their chapter to achieve. Some of the previous goals included partnering with another food donor or bringing a certain amount of new volunteers on board.
Looking into the future, she hopes that FRN can continue to impact many people, that it can spread beyond the student level, to university chancellors, sustainability office, to outside of higher education, to restaurants and businesses. Her advice is to open the conversation about food waste and food recovery. From Petra’s words and study, “by decreasing the 40% of food produced in America that is wasted each year, restaurants could feed the 49 million Americans who are food insecure.”