Student group coordinates food program
Shippensburg University chapter of the Food Recovery Network (FRN) has
partnered with Chartwells dining services on campus to donate leftover food from
dining halls to community members in need.
to its website, the organization “unites students at colleges and universities
to fight food waste and hunger by recovering surplus perishable food from their
campuses and surrounding communities that would otherwise go to waste and
donating it to people in need.”
Shippensburg's chapter was piloted by students in “Practice with Organizations and Communities,”
a required course for all social work majors. The students, led by senior
Christina Qawasmy, started the chapter for an assignment and donated their
first batch of recovered food last month to the Shippensburg First Church of
God on East King Street.
the students pick up leftover food from Reisner Dining Hall and deliver it to
the church, which offers a free community meal on Friday evenings. Food items
include rice, pasta, rolls, meats, vegetables and baked goods.
“It is a
truly wonderful feeling to see the appreciation on the faces of the
Shippensburg community members my group and I are helping each and every
recovery,” said Qawasmy. “In addition, the organization benefits both the
community and the university by helping to eliminate some of the waste on-campus
and to support sustainability efforts.”
Nick Iula, director
of campus dining services, said Reisner Hall discards approximately 100 pounds
of food per meal-period and estimates the university discards at least twice
that amount campus-wide. “This
program is a win-win because we are able to save healthy, nutritious food from
being thrown away and allow local community members and families to enjoy a
tasty wholesome meal,” said Iula.
have had four recoveries and donated more than 200 pounds of food to date.
started in 2011 at the University of Maryland, and as of February had programs
at 53 colleges in 20 states and recovered more than 250,000 pounds of food.