Ben founded Food Recovery Network in 2011 while he was a student at University of Maryland, College Park. He served as FRN's Executive Director for its first 4 years. Under Ben’s leadership, FRN became the largest student movement against hunger with chapters at over 150 colleges. Ben is a Forbes 30 Under 30 Social Entrepreneur and won a Do Something Award on VH1. Today, Ben is glad to stay involved with FRN as part of the Board of Directors. He is based in Oakland, CA where he is CEO at Imperfect, America's leading consumer brand for ugly produce. Imperfect is on a mission to find a home for the 6 billion pounds per year of produce that is currently wasted because of looks.
Lauren Behgam is from Plano, Texas. She graduated from Brown University in 2015 with a degree in Environmental Studies. Her passion for food was sparked while growing up in her family's Tex-Mex restaurant, and she hopes to cultivate a career in building a more equitable and just food system. Working with Food Recovery Network has been an incredibly fruitful experience, and she looks forward to the movement's continued growth.
Andrew was involved with the early stages of FRN at the University of Maryland and within FRN National, participating with Ben Simon in several pitch competitions that gained FRN its first national coverage. He also coached students at other campuses through the process of starting an FRN chapter. Andrew graduated from UMD in May 2014 and served for a year as an AmeriCorps Team Leader with the Watershed Stewards Program.
Today, Andrew is an aspiring software developer. He is passionate about environmental science, Effective Altruism, and non-profits. He hopes to use software development to build a more sustainable future and maximize his impact in the world.
Ben Chesler has been involved with FRN from its inception as a pie-in-the-sky dream in 2011. He was the founder of FRN@Brown and one of the original members of the FRN National team. Now he sits back and watches all the amazing staff and students run FRN!
Dana Del Vecchio
Dana graduated from University of Michigan with a Bachelors Degree in Middle Eastern Studies. While at University of Michigan, Dana started the university's FRN chapter, was heavily involved in a Palestinian activist club and attended weekly bible studies. She also volunteered at a shelter for women and children affected by domestic violence. After she studied abroad in Israel and Jordan, Dana decided to move to Jordan to work at a refugee NGO or nonprofit. Dana is currently teaching life skills to Jordanian children. In the future, she hopes to start a small nonprofit that gives Jordanian youth community service and leadership opportunities. In her spare time, Dana loves volunteering, reducing food waste, biking, visiting new cities and practicing her Arabic.
Rebecca is the Changemaker Campus Associate Director at Ashoka U, working with colleges and universities all over the world who are interested in advancing social innovation education and bridging the divide between academia and action. Before joining the Ashoka U team in 2013, Rebecca received a BA in Politics, Philosophy, and Economics with a focus on the nonprofit sector from Brown University. As an undergraduate student, she highly involved in social enterprise startups, including helping to run Rainwater for Humanity, a startup building rainwater harvesting structures in a village in rural India, as well as several others. She also was a co-founder of the Food Recovery Network and is delighted to now be a member of the board.
Nick (Pomona College, ’13) started coordinating the Food Rescue program at Pomona College as a sophomore, taking over from Tammy Zhu, ’10, who started the program in 2008 with funds from a Strauss Public Service Grant and the support of the Draper Center for Community Partnerships at Pomona. Food Rescue became a founding chapter of Food Recovery Network in January 2012. After graduating from Pomona with a major in Molecular Biology, Nick completed an MPhil in Biological Sciences at the University of Cambridge studying the parasite which causes African Sleeping Sickness. He now attends medical school at UCSF with an interest in homeless health.
Cam co-founded FRN while a student at the University of Maryland, College Park and was the organization's first Director of Innovation and Operations. In her five years with FRN she helped bring the organization from its first meeting as a student group to the forefront of the broader food recovery movement by exploring initiatives that took FRN beyond higher education including Food Recovery Certified, consulting to start food recovery programs for food businesses and anything else that kept FRN a pioneer in food recovery. Cam also shared FRN's story in a TedX talk. While at the University of Maryland Cam received a B.S. in Biology and a minor in International Development and Conflict Management. Today, Cam continues to help change the food industry's norms by exploring innovative ways to stop wasting food.
Mia co-founded Food Recovery Network as a University of Maryland (UMD) student in 2011 because she hated the sight of good food going to waste. She served as FRN's Director of Development for two years after graduating from UMD. As an undergraduate, Mia studied Anthropology — minoring in Sustainability, but spent the majority of her time going from dining halls to football games to basketball games collecting surplus food to make sure it didn't end up in a trash can. She is passionate about creating sustainable food systems to feed a growing global population and believes food recovery is part of the answer.