Food Recovery Network (FRN)

Fighting Waste. Feeding People.

We unite students at universities to fight food waste and hunger by recovering and donating the surplus food from their campus dining halls.

Use Case

We work one on one with college students to help them navigate through the process of starting an FRN chapter. We provide them with the resources they need and also help them converse with their dining service managers. There is a misconception that a business can be liable for donating their surplus food, however all donors are protected from liability due to the Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Act. Students are prepped on the bill and other possible concerns prior to their conversation with dining services. Once they get the okay from dining services, they begin recoveries and become an official chapter. Then, we connect them with someone from our Member Support team who will regularly check in with them to provide them the tools they need to sustain their chapter.

Potential

We estimate that 75% of American universities do not have a food recovery program, resulting in about 18 million meals being wasted each year. By distributing the surplus food to those in need, we are providing shelters and agencies the ability to use their limited funding and time on other programs such as job skills training. We are also training students to become leaders who are dedicated to fighting food waste and hunger. Our work on university campuses has created a movement and has put the issue of food waste in the national spotlight. Although our focus is in America, food waste occurs in every country. We hope to expand to all American universities and provide knowledge and expertise so that food recovery can become a norm in every country.

Business Case

Currently, FRN holds a partnership and the support of a major dining service provider, Sodexo. We also have the potential to implement a model where we take a percentage of the tax credits that businesses receive for donating unsold surplus food. Lastly, FRN has launched a certification program that highlights businesses that are donating their surplus food. The program is called Food Recovery Certified and charges businesses a small fee in order to receive the certification.

Objectives:

  1. FRN wants to make food recovery the norm on college campuses.
  2. FRN strives to educate businesses about their protection from liability when donating, by the Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Act.
  3. FRN wants to continue to put good quality, already prepared food into the hands of people who need it most.

Team Food Recovery Network

College Park, United States

  • Other
  • Food Waste / Consumer Issues
  • North America

Our Team

Recovery at UMD! / Published December 7, 2014 by Cam Pascual

Recovery at UMD!

Member Support fellow, Mika, on a recovery at University of Maryland. This chapter is one of 30 chapters she works with in order to provide additional resources and helps them strengthen their relationships with their hunger fighting partner agencies in the community.

FRN @ Florida State University / Published December 7, 2014 by Cam Pascual

FRN @ Florida State University

Volunteers at Florida State University on a basketball game recovery, ready to deliver the food to a nearby community partner.

Food Recovery Network turns 3! / Published December 7, 2014 by Cam Pascual

Food Recovery Network turns 3!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KLqEcQ11brI

Food Recovery Network team celebrates its three year anniversary.

Do something about it. / Published November 14, 2014 by Cam Pascual

Do something about it.

FRN Core Values: Everyone can be a Leader / Published November 14, 2014 by Cam Pascual

FRN Core Values: Everyone can be a Leader

The following is the third post in our series of blogs detailing FRN’s core values–six key components that motivate us and influence the work we do. Member Support Fellow Marlene Haggblade walks us through core value number three. Stay tuned for the next three! What are your core values?

Many of the students in our movement had no idea they could start or lead their FRN chapters–until they did. At FRN, we meet people where they are to maintain and build on students’ optimism and energy around making a difference while helping them work with existing institutions. We accept that everyone we work with has his or her own way of doing things, inspired by experience and creativity and we are flexible and adaptable to ensure that everyone can make unique contributions to the food recovery effort.

"Take a minute to close your eyes and picture a leader. Who materializes in front of your very eyes? Your wonderful mom? Nelson Mandela? Your friend who fought and survived lymphoma? Hillary Clinton? The student body president? Chimamanda Adichie? Who is a leader?

I argue that within each individual lies a potential leader. And believe me, I was initially skeptical to come to this conclusion! But, I don’t think leadership can or should be myopically defined as those who hold ‘top’ positions in groups, organizations, or countries. Leaders exist all around us. People have and will continue to constantly influence our lives–an ebb and flow of actions, words, and passion. Influence, a multifaceted and complex endeavor, comes from the top-down, from the bottom-up, from the left, from the right, and often from the people we interact with most on a daily basis. Jim Rohn, a famous motivational speaker, said we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with. Who does that make you?

Leadership calls for every one of us to influence and to change. To embrace our roles as a leader, rather than excuse ourselves simply because we are not, nor will we ever be Martin Luther King, Jr. Leaders surround us, support us, guide us. The diversity and depth truly penetrates present static definitions of leadership. You are a leader. What kind of leader will you be?"

Our Mission

Food Recovery Network unites students at colleges and universities to fight food waste and hunger by recovering surplus perishable food that would otherwise go to waste from their campuses and surrounding communities and donating it to people in need.

Our Background

We are a small but spunky team of young people dedicated to the mission of Food Recovery Network. Our team is comprised of college students and recent graduates that work to empower college students across the country to start food recovery programs on their campus. We build leaders who join us on the fight against food waste and hunger. This challenge provides an exciting opportunity for our team to connect with others in the movement and develop the Food Recovery Network even further. Since our founding as a student group in 2011, we have recovered over half a million pounds of food and have expanded to 105 chapters at colleges across the United States. We are well on our way to meeting our early goals of reaching 150 chapters across the country by May 2015 and recovering a total of 610,000 lbs of food, and can't wait to work with you all to fight waste and feed people!

Recovery at UMD! / Published December 7, 2014 by Cam Pascual

Recovery at UMD!

Member Support fellow, Mika, on a recovery at University of Maryland. This chapter is one of 30 chapters she works with in order to provide additional resources and helps them strengthen their relationships with their hunger fighting partner agencies in the community.

FRN @ Florida State University / Published December 7, 2014 by Cam Pascual

FRN @ Florida State University

Volunteers at Florida State University on a basketball game recovery, ready to deliver the food to a nearby community partner.

Food Recovery Network turns 3! / Published December 7, 2014 by Cam Pascual

Food Recovery Network turns 3!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KLqEcQ11brI

Food Recovery Network team celebrates its three year anniversary.

Do something about it. / Published November 14, 2014 by Cam Pascual

Do something about it.

FRN Core Values: Everyone can be a Leader / Published November 14, 2014 by Cam Pascual

FRN Core Values: Everyone can be a Leader

The following is the third post in our series of blogs detailing FRN’s core values–six key components that motivate us and influence the work we do. Member Support Fellow Marlene Haggblade walks us through core value number three. Stay tuned for the next three! What are your core values?

Many of the students in our movement had no idea they could start or lead their FRN chapters–until they did. At FRN, we meet people where they are to maintain and build on students’ optimism and energy around making a difference while helping them work with existing institutions. We accept that everyone we work with has his or her own way of doing things, inspired by experience and creativity and we are flexible and adaptable to ensure that everyone can make unique contributions to the food recovery effort.

"Take a minute to close your eyes and picture a leader. Who materializes in front of your very eyes? Your wonderful mom? Nelson Mandela? Your friend who fought and survived lymphoma? Hillary Clinton? The student body president? Chimamanda Adichie? Who is a leader?

I argue that within each individual lies a potential leader. And believe me, I was initially skeptical to come to this conclusion! But, I don’t think leadership can or should be myopically defined as those who hold ‘top’ positions in groups, organizations, or countries. Leaders exist all around us. People have and will continue to constantly influence our lives–an ebb and flow of actions, words, and passion. Influence, a multifaceted and complex endeavor, comes from the top-down, from the bottom-up, from the left, from the right, and often from the people we interact with most on a daily basis. Jim Rohn, a famous motivational speaker, said we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with. Who does that make you?

Leadership calls for every one of us to influence and to change. To embrace our roles as a leader, rather than excuse ourselves simply because we are not, nor will we ever be Martin Luther King, Jr. Leaders surround us, support us, guide us. The diversity and depth truly penetrates present static definitions of leadership. You are a leader. What kind of leader will you be?"

Our Team

Our Mission

Food Recovery Network unites students at colleges and universities to fight food waste and hunger by recovering surplus perishable food that would otherwise go to waste from their ...Read More

Our Background

We are a small but spunky team of young people dedicated to the mission of Food Recovery Network. Our team is comprised of college students and recent graduates ...Read More

The information contained here represents student project ideas developed as the result of brainstorming activities during Round 1 of the TFF Challenge. It does not represent any final business plans or commercial products.