From Regina's Desk: FRN Turns Five!

Food Recovery Network has reached an important milestone. This September, our organization that sparked a food-waste-fighting movement at colleges across the country, is turning five on September 21!

FRN is celebrating its fifth year of reducing food waste at the source while at the same time, feeding those in need. For five years, our growing number of chapters ensures perfectly good food, which is currently the largest item in our landfills, is diverted and given to those who need it.

When FRN was first established as a 501(c)3 nonprofit, we chose the word network very carefully. We wanted to inspire the image of thousands and thousands of connections happening every day among people who care about the sheer amount of food we waste, the devastating number of people who don't know where their next meal is coming from, and the impact of growing, harvesting, cooking and then throwing away food has on our environment.

You might have a founding story of establishing a chapter five years ago. You could be a dining manager on campus, a university professor or an employee at a hunger-fighting partner agency, who has worked closely with a chapter and has seen the students involved flourish as emerging leaders. Perhaps you’re a donor who has supported any one of the impact areas we address.

Many more of you are just becoming familiar with us and our work: perhaps you’re a student connecting to an existing FRN chapter on your college campus or a student who is working to establish a new chapter. Perhaps you’re a concerned neighbor frustrated about wasting food and seeking a solution. You are all part of our community and the ever-connected network.

We’re taking the whole YEAR to celebrate FRN and to celebrate those who’ve worked to recover 1.4 million pounds of food and counting. Whether you were connected to FRN at the very beginning, or were introduced even last week, we’re celebrating YOU and the combined voices across the country who are changing the dialogue from food waste, to food recovery. 

This year, be on the lookout for ways to connect to the celebration. Make sure to save our anniversary page on our website. We’ll host events across the country including FRN’s Week of Action September 19-24. During this week, our Regional Outreach Coordinators will be coordinating an online campaign using #WhyFoodRecovery to promote our mission and hosting regional meet-ups in their respective regions, and of course there will be cupcakes on the 21st. Most importantly, we want YOU to help us kick off a year of celebration by sharing your experiences with #FRN5Years.

We’re also collecting stories from across the network to publish throughout the year. If you have an FRN story you would like to share, please email us at!

Happy birthday, FRN!

P.S., September 2011 was a powerful month. Here is a short list of other events that occurred around the same time FRN became an established nonprofit!

  • The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations report, "How to Feed the World in 2020" was released in 2011. The report noted that despite record cereal harvests conducted in 2008, more than 60 million new individuals reported having experienced malnourishment.
  • The National Resource Defense Council was one year away from publishing their landmark paper, Wasted, detailing how approximately 40% of all food produced in the US is wasted.
  • The EPA stated that 36 million tons of food was wasted throughout the entire year, with only 4% of that surplus being diverted from landfills.
  • In Sept 2011, the UN cited "the lack of income opportunities for the poor and absence of effective social safety nets" as one of the primary causes of food insecurity.