Today’s Solutions: June 04, 2023

The average North American and European wastes over 200 pounds of food per year, and though globally we produce enough food to feed the world, 1 in 8 people suffer from undernourishment. Travel to any college campus and you’ll see a major culprit: buffet style cafeterias. A few years ago a couple students from  colleges on the east coast got together to start the Food Recovery Network, a program that takes the leftovers from college campuses and donates them to hungry Americans.
In 2011 Ben Simon, student at University of Maryland – College Park and founder of the Food Recovery Network, noticed that his school was wasting a ton of food, one dining hall was throwing out between 100–200 pounds of leftovers everyday. Simon started taking the leftover food to local churches and food banks for distribution to the hungry. The Christian Life Center in Maryland, one of the places Simon donates to, feeds 100s of people a month with the food he brings.
The way the Food Recovery Network works is that everyday about 5 student volunteers show up at a school’s dining hall, then cafeteria staff cart out the day’s leftovers. The food is weighed and packaged, 1 donated meal weighs about 1.25 pounds. Students then transport the leftovers to local food banks and churches for distribution. So far the Food Recovery Network has donated more than 190,000 meals to hungry Americans.
The Food Recovery Network has grown from a few concerned students in Maryland to 55 chapters across 20 states in the US. Anyone can get involved in the food recovery process by contacting their local chapter, or requesting to set one up if there isn’t one nearby.
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