By Regina Northouse, Executive Director
I recently had the opportunity to join the FRN chapter at University of Maryland on a recovery. This was my very first recovery and it was so special to participate with FRN's first chapter. I was impressed with the students who descended upon dining services a few minutes before 8:30 pm in order to begin recovering promptly when dining hours concluded. I met Taylor, FRN at UMD co-president, who left the Terps’ soccer game early to be there. When I mentioned how cool her level of commitment was to leave early, she demurred to say that recovering was important, and also, it was fun! To see the containers of variously prepared rices, fresh fruit, and baked chicken begin to amass, and knowing this food was going to the Christian Life Center partner agency to ensure those who needed it had healthy food was so inspiring and filled me with such gratitude. As we said goodbye to the students, they piled into a UMD hybrid van--the school now has their shuttle services bring students to and from donation sites so that the students don’t have to use their own vehicles. I'm floored by the continued level of commitment to Food Recovery Network from UMD.
I am struck by one of our core values, “Anyone can be a leader.” We state that, “we meet people where they are to maintain and build on students' optimism and energy around making a difference,” and as I stood, literally meeting our UMD chapter “where they were at” I was impressed by what an amazing place they’d taken the chapter. I look forward to continuing my visits to chapters and seeing what this dedicated group of leaders will do for the movement this coming year!