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

Pundits Split Over Long-Term US Role in Afghanistan

Security pact remains condition for American presence beyond 2014; deadline criticized More

US Eyes Islamic State Threat

Officials warn that IS could pose a threat to US homeland More

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Moscow says Russian troops crossed into Ukrainian territory by mistake More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocksi
X
George Putic
August 25, 2014 4:00 PM
How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Ukrainian officials say they have captured Russian soldiers on Ukrainian territory -- the latest accusation of Moscow's involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the Ukrainian side of the battle, where soldiers are convinced of Russia's role.
Video

Video Rubber May Soon Come From Dandelions

Synthetic rubber has been around for more than a century, but quality tires for cars, trucks and aircraft still need up to 40 percent or more natural rubber content. As the source of natural rubber, the rubber tree, is prone to disease and can be affected by bad weather. So scientists are looking for replacements. And as VOA’s George Putic reports, they may have found one in a ubiquitous weed.
Video

Video Jewish Life in Argentina Reflected in Yiddish Tango

Jewish people from across Europe and Russia have been immigrating to Argentina for hundreds of years. They brought with them dance music that were eventually mixed with Argentine tango. The result is Yiddish tango -- a fusion of melodies and cultural experiences that is still evolving today. Elizabeth Lee reports from the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, where one band is bringing Yiddish tango to an American audience.
Video

Video Peace Returns to Ferguson as Community Tries to Heal

Thousands of people nationwide are expected to attend funeral services Monday in the U.S. Midwestern city of St. Louis, Missouri, for Michael Brown, the unarmed African-American teenager who was fatally shot by a white police officer August 9 in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson. The shooting touched off days of violent demonstrations there, resulting in more than 100 arrests. VOA's Chris Simkins reports from Ferguson where the community is trying to move on after weeks of racial tension.
Video

Video Meeting in Minsk May Hinge on Putin Story

The presidents of Russia and Ukraine are expected to meet face-to-face Tuesday in Minsk, along with European leaders, for talks on the situation in Ukraine. Political analysts say the much welcomed dialogue could help bring an end to months of deadly clashes between pro-Russia separatists and Ukrainian forces in the country's southeast. But much depends on the actions of one man, Russian President Vladimir Putin. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Artists Shun Russia's Profanity Law

Russia in July enacted a law threatening fines for publicly displayed profanity in media, films, literature, music and theater. The restriction, the toughest since the Soviet era, aims to protect the Russian language and culture and has been welcomed by those who say cursing is getting out of control. But many artists reject the move as a patronizing and ineffective act of censorship in line with a string of conservative morality laws. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video British Fighters on Frontline of ISIS Information War

Security services are racing to identify the Islamic State militant who beheaded U.S. journalist James Foley in Syria. The murderer spoke English on camera with a British accent. It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for the Islamic State, also called ISIL or ISIS, alongside thousands of other foreign jihadists. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from the center of the investigation in London.

AppleAndroid