NFRD 2017 Frequently Asked Questions


What is NFRD?

The National Food Recovery Dialogue 2017 seeks to engage our diverse student network with the policymakers, organizations, and individuals making a change in the food waste realm. Happening at the University of the District of Columbia, we will highlight the intersectionality of the food waste world, learn about the cutting-edge food justice initiatives taking place across the country, and have an amazing time doing it!


Where is NFRD?

NFRD 2017 is at the University of the District of Columbia in Washington, D.C., located at 4200 Connecticut Avenue Northwest, Washington, D.C. 20008. The conference will primarily be held in the UDC Student Center, the College of Agriculture, Urban Sustainability and Environmental Science (CAUSES) building and the Law School building.


Why should I attend NFRD?

NFRD is a unique opportunity to meet other student food waste activists, hear from prominent speakers in the movement to end food waste, and bond with your FRN chapter. It is a place to learn best practices for recoveries, partner agency relationships, and volunteer recruitment. Educate yourself and learn how to educate your peers, meet professional-level individuals in the field, travel to the nation’s capital, get to know the FRN National Team, and gain a fresh perspective on the meaning behind all the hard work you put into food recovery during the school year and beyond.


Check out 7 Reasons You Should Attend NFRD on our website if you still aren’t convinced!


Who can attend NFRD?

Any volunteer or leader involved with an official or not-yet-official Food Recovery Network chapter or Chapter in Progress (CHIP), alumni of Food Recovery Network, community member, or interested person can attend. The conference is open to all.


How much does it cost to attend NFRD? Where does that money go?

The conference fee is $35. This covers all speeches, breakout sessions, other activities (such as the hackathon and kitchen throwdown) and meals (two breakfasts, two lunches and snacks).


Do I have to be part of an official FRN chapter to attend NFRD?

No. You can attend as an alumni of an FRN chapter, a volunteer of an not-yet-official chapter or Chapter in Progress (CHIP), or as an interested community member. People at different levels of involvement with FRN are encouraged to attend, as having a range of attendees is what makes these conferences so amazing.


Will there be food? Will the meals accommodate those with dietary restrictions?

Yes. The registration fee covers breakfast, lunch and snacks on Saturday and Sunday. There will be accommodations including gluten-free, dairy-free, vegetarian and vegan options. We advise you to bring a few of your own snacks for the plane or car and in case you get extra hungry beyond snacks and meals - there will be plenty of food but it wouldn't hurt to have a few of your own as well. 


What should I bring to NFRD?

For safety reasons, everyone should notify their emergency contact that they are traveling and be sure to have your insurance card with you at all times.

For the conference as a whole, you may wish to bring a notebook and pencil to write down any of the great ideas you come up with, the contact info for your new FRNds, etc. We would also suggest bringing your own tote bag and reusable water bottle and/or coffee mug!

If you plan to stay in the free housing provided by the conference, you will need to bring your own sleeping gear. This includes a sleeping bag, pillow, toiletries, and anything else you may need. For individuals opting for free housing, UDC is offering free showers at the Student Center.


How many people attend NFRD?

Each year is a little different, but we are expecting around three hundred and fifty attendees at NFRD 2017.


How many people per chapter usually attend?

This also completely depends on the chapter. Some chapters bring 10 leaders, some only send one. Anyone connected with FRN, from a member of the leadership team to a volunteer, can benefit from NFRD, so we encourage everyone to join us!


Is there a dress code?

There is no dress code for NFRD. We would suggest wearing layers, as temperatures can vary in the facilities. The conference takes place in late fall in DC, so it may potentially be cold outside.


Will I need money outside of the conference fee?

Dinner is not provided on Saturday evening, so you will need find dinner on your own. There will also be FRN swag available for purchase during the conference.


Can I be involved with NFRD besides being an attendee?

Yes! If you are interested in volunteering at NFRD, please email us at


Is NFRD disability accessible?

“The University [of the District of Columbia] is committed to providing equal and integrated access for individuals with disabilities to all the academic, social, cultural, and recreational programs it offers. We work with students to ensure access to every opportunity for learning and personal growth so that you may participate as fully as possible in campus life.”

FRN will abide by the University of DC’s statement on accessibility. If you have specific concerns about the conference being accessible, please email us at and we will work to ensure that your concerns are addressed.


What is the schedule for NFRD?

While we’re still finalizing the exact schedule, you can generally expect the following:


  • 8 -9 am: Registration and breakfast

  • 9 am-5:30pm: NFRD Day One

    • Keynote Speaker

    • Plenaries

    • Town Halls

    • Food Safety Training

    • Breakout Sessions

    • Hackathon

    • Gleaning Activity

    • Rooftop garden tours


  • 9 am: Breakfast

  • 9:30 am-5:30pm: NFRD Day Two

    • Plenaries

    • Town Halls

    • Breakout Sessions

    • Kitchen Throwdown

    • Award Ceremony



What kind of topics are discussed at NFRD?

NFRD is about bringing together leaders in the food recovery movement to discuss food waste and hunger. Included in this are topics such as food insecurity, nutrition, environmental issues, climate change, and reducing your carbon footprint.


What kinds of speakers will there be?

There will be a variety of speakers, ranging from chefs to professors to nonprofit leaders. You can find information about all of our speakers on our website.


Will there be opportunities for me to interact with professionals and speakers?

Absolutely. NFRD is an amazing place to network. Students often leave the Dialogue with a new connection or internship opportunity. There is plenty of time to network after each speaker or plenary session, and many speakers will be staying for the duration of the Dialogue. The Expo, which is held in the Student Center all weekend, features organizations and companies doing related work and is a great time to network as well.


Will NFRD be made up of only lectures, or will there be smaller discussion groups?

NFRD will feature lecture-style, smaller group discussions and panel-style learning environments. There is a space for every type of learner to thrive. Some of the best conversations had at NFRD are also between new FRNds who connect over the experiences of their chapters.


Our chapter is strong in some areas but struggles in others. Will we be able to learn from  other chapters about their successes and share best practices?

This is one of the greatest reasons to come to NFRD! Each chapter has enormous strengths, and each chapter has weaknesses, even the strongest ones. It is beneficial to all chapters in our network to be able to interact with other chapters, to gain perspective and learn something new. You never know who could give you the next great idea to bring your chapter to the next level.


Most of the information that FRN National has compiled on Housing and Travel can be found on the NFRD 2017 Travel page. If your question is not answered here, please do not hesitate to contact FRN National at with “Housing and Travel” in the subject line.


Which airport should I fly into for NFRD?

We recommend using either Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) or Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD). You can also fly to Baltimore–Washington International Airport (BWI), but it is a slightly longer drive to UDC. You can see how much time it takes to travel from each airport to UDC on the NFRD 2017 housing and travel page.


Will there be parking available at NFRD?

NFRD attendees will be able to park at UDC’s campus for a steep discount of $3 a day.

Individual housing sites will have different rules about parking. If you are utilizing free housing and want to know about parking at your individual site, please contact


How will I get around DC?

The Metro is the way to go! Once you get to DC, metros and buses all require SmartTrip cards which are available for purchase at each metro station. They cost $10; $2 for the card and then $8 is credited for your travels. When entering a metro, you tap your card at the gate then tap it again when you leave, and the cost of your trip is calculated. If you’re on the bus, you tap it once for a flat rate.

If you have a car, that’s great! Just be aware that parking is rarely free in DC, so when traipsing around the city, plan to pay for parking.


How can I pay for travel to NFRD?

Food Recovery Network is thrilled to be able to offer travel stipends and scholarships to students working with FRN chapters on their campuses.

Applications will be approved on a rolling basis between September 5, 2017 and October 13, 2017 or until all funding has been awarded.

All funding is available on a first-come, first-served basis, and will be awarded based on (in no particular order) need, distance to be traveled and chapter standing/merit. Students involved in unofficial and official chapters are eligible to apply for and receive funding. Please be sure to coordinate with your FRNds; only submit one application for funding per chapter.




What housing is available for NFRD?

FRN National has reached out to several hostels and hotels in the DC area about discounts for students who will be attending NFRD. We are also working with several churches to provide free, no frills housing for students. Information about both types of housing can be found on our travel and housing page. If you are interested in free housing, please fill out the form at the bottom of the travel and housing page ASAP. Attendees will be placed on a first come, first serve basis and will hear back about their housing assignment within 5 to 7 days.


Does FRN National coordinate hotel accommodations and travel to and from housing to UDC?

No, attendees are on their own to book their hotel or hostel accommodations and their travel to and from the conference. However, if you would like some help planning your travel, please feel free to contact us at


What does free housing entail?

It will vary based on the house of worship to which you are assigned, but, for the most part, it will mean bringing your own sleeping bag and sleeping on the floor with a lot of other NFRD attendees. There are not usually showers at these houses of worship, but UDC has generously allowed us to use their showers. It isn’t glamorous, but it is free!


If I signed up for free housing, when will I hear what my assignment is?

Housing will be assigned on a rolling basis. You should hear from FRN National about your specific assignment within 5 to 7 days of filling out the form at the bottom of our housing and travel page.


How many spaces are there for free housing?

We will house as many people as we can in free housing. To ensure that you get housing, please fill out the form ASAP.