News / USA

College Students Rescue Leftover Food, Feed the Poor

College Students Rescue Leftover Food, Feed the Poori
X
March 20, 2013 9:08 PM
According to recent reports, almost 16,000 children around the world die every day from hunger-related causes. Even rich countries have hunger issues. Nearly 15 percent of U.S. households struggle to put food on the table. At the same time, Americans throw out 40 percent of their food. To help resolve these two problems - hunger and wasted food - a group of college students started a program which has inspired a nationwide effort. VOA’s June Soh met the volunteers.
June Soh
According to recent reports, almost 16,000 children around the world die every day from hunger-related causes. Even rich countries have hunger issues. Nearly 15 percent of U.S. households struggle to put food on the table.  At the same time, Americans throw out 40 percent of their food. To help resolve these two problems, hunger and wasted food, a group of college students started a program which has inspired a nationwide effort.  
 
University of Maryland student Ben Simon and his friends couldn't stand to see good food thrown out on their campus. 
 
“We basically noticed that some of the extra food from the dining hall was going to waste at the end of the day.  And we met with the dining services and asked them whether it would be okay if instead of throwing out the food we would donate it.  And they were on board," he said. 
 
So 18 months ago, the students began what they call the Food Recovery Network. Each night, volunteers would show up at a campus dining hall to pick up leftovers and deliver them to area shelters and food banks.
 
“When we started, we collected a little bit more than we currently do now, so maybe between [45 kilograms] to [90 kilograms] of food per night.”
 
So far, they have donated more than 23,000 kilos of food that would otherwise have been thrown out.  
 
The amount of wasted food was also reduced when school officials removed trays from the dining hall. Rob Fahey is the chef.
 
“We do not use trays because it is proven that students fill up a tray. And this way they only pick up the plates and they can only grab so much food.  And then they can go back in line to get more food if they want. That prevents wastage for that," he said. 
 
Nationwide, $165 billion worth of food is wasted each year, according to the National Resources Defense Council. Spokesman Bob Keefe says that is about 40 percent of the country's entire food production.
 
“If we can reduce our waste in this country by 15 percent, we can feed 25 million hungry Americans. That is a huge benefit. That is what programs like this Food Recovery Network are doing," he said. 
 
Christian Life Center is one of the beneficiaries of the students' efforts. Ben Slye, the senior pastor, said, “It has been just amazing to see these students take their own time, their own vehicles and own gas money and be able to make an effort like this. Each week we are able with this food probably to feed over hundred people.”  
 
The University of Maryland's Food Recovery Network now has 200 volunteers and the program has expanded to 18 schools across the country.
 
“I want to grow 18 chapters to a thousand chapters within five years.  And once we get to the Food Recovery Nation being at every college campus in America, we want to expand to restaurants to farms," said Simon. 
 
The volunteers are committed to making that happen.

You May Like

Turkey's Controversial Reform Bill Giving Investors Jitters

Homeland security reform bill will give police new powers in search, seizure, detention and arrests, while restricting the rights of suspects, their attorneys More

Audio Slideshow In Kenyan Prison, Good Grades Are Path to Freedom

Some inmates who get high marks could see their sentences commuted to non-custodial status More

'Rumble in the Jungle' Turns 40

'The Champ' knocked Foreman out to regain crown he had lost 7 years earlier when US government accused him of draft-dodging and boxing officials revoked his license More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisiai
X
Henry Ridgwell
October 30, 2014 11:39 PM
Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid