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

Photogallery South Africa Bans Travelers From Ebola-stricken Countries

South Africans returning from affected West African countries will be thoroughly screened, required to fill out medical questionnaire, health minister says More

Multimedia UN Launches ‘Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years’ in Iraq

Move aims to help thousands of Iraqi religious minorities who fled their homes as Kurdish, Iraqi government forces battle Sunni insurgents More

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

IT specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about disease More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbasi
X
Scott Stearns
August 21, 2014 9:20 PM
The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbas

The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Nigeria's 'Nollywood' Movie Industry Rolls in High Gear

Twenty years after its birth in a video shop in Lagos, Nigeria's "Nollywood" is one of the most prolific film industries on earth. Despite low budgets and whirlwind production schedules, Nigerian films are wildly popular in Africa and industry professionals say they hope, in the future, their films will be as great in quality as they are in quantity. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Lagos.
Video

Video UN Launches 'Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years' in Iraq

The United Nations has launched what it describes as one of the biggest aid operations in 30 years in northern Iraq, as hundreds of thousands of refugees flee the extremist Sunni militant group calling itself the Islamic State. As Kurdish and Iraqi forces battle the Sunni insurgents, the fighting has forced more people to flee their homes. Kurdish authorities say the international community must act now to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Cambodian American Hip Hop Artist Sings of Personal Struggles

A growing underground movement of Cambodian American hip hop artists is rapping about the struggles of living in urban America. Most, if not all of them, are refugees or children of refugees who came to the United States from Cambodia to escape the Khmer Rouge genocide of the 1970s. Through their music, the artists hope to give voice to immigrants who have been struggling quietly for years. Elizabeth Lee reports from Long Beach, California.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ferguson Calls for Justice as Anger, Violence Grips Community

Violence, anger and frustration continue to grip the small St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri. Protests broke out after a white police officer fatally shot an unarmed black teenager on August 9. The case has sparked outrage around the nation and prompted the White House to send U.S. Attorney Eric Holder to the small community of just over 20,000 people. VOA’s Mary Alice Salinas has more from Ferguson.
Video

Video Beheading Of US Journalist Breeds Outrage

U.S. and British authorities have launched an investigation into an Islamic State video showing the beheading of kidnapped American journalist James Foley by a militant with a British accent. The extremist group, which posted the video on the Internet Tuesday, said the murder was revenge for U.S. airstrikes on militant positions in Iraq - and has threatened to execute another American journalist it is holding. Henry Ridgwell has more from London.
Video

Video Family Robots - The Next Big Thing?

Robots that can help us with daily chores like cooking and cleaning are a long way off, but automatons that serve as family companions may be much closer. Researchers in the United States, France, Japan and other countries are racing to build robots that can entertain and perform some simpler tasks for us. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.

AppleAndroid