NOVEMBER 24, 2013
WINNER: FOOD RECOVERY NETWORK
Food Recovery Network at Michigan is a young organization at the University of Michigan that works to fight food waste on campus and in the community while providing food to people in Washtenaw County who are food insecure. Currently, FRN at Michigan recovers leftover, edible food from two dining halls on campus, Mary Markley Dining Hall and West Quad Dining Hall, during daily, student-powered food recovery shifts. The food from daily recoveries is distributed by student drivers to Food Gatherers, who redistributes the food to organizations throughout Washtenaw County. FRN at Michigan is working with UM Dining Services to expand food recovery to all dining halls on campus. FRN at Michigan also engages the greater UM student body through educational outreach events, including annual Food for Thought Dinners, informal potlucks, and educational campaigns regarding food waste reduction.
HOW WILL YOU USE SOUP GRANT FUNDING TOWARDS THE REALIZATION OF YOUR PROJECT
The daily food recoveries hosted by Food Recovery Network at Michigan require a number of materials, including thermometers, disposable metals trays, portable cooler bags, and freezers located in dining hall kitchens (to store the food prior to recoveries). FRN at Michigan currently uses about 8-10 boxes of metal trays per semester, totaling in costs of about $500-$700 each term. While FRN at Michigan has the student power to continue its recoveries, its daily process necessitates outside economic support. With SOUP grant funding, FRN at Michigan will be able to purchase metal trays, as well as other equipment we may need, and continue recoveries in the coming semesters. Given that FRN at Michigan is currently expanding to more dining halls, the need for economic support from SOUP is especially crucial.
WHY DOES THIS PROJECT MATTER TO THE GREATER ANN ARBOR COMMUNITY?
1 in 7 people in Washtenaw County are food insecure, and don't have access to enough food for a healthy and active lifestyle. Meanwhile, the dining halls at the University of Michigan waste over 800,000 pounds of food every year-that's enough to feed 300 people for a year. Additionally, all that food waste typically ends up in landfills, releasing immense amounts of methane gas and acting as a leading contributor to global climate change. Food Recovery Network at Michigan works at the intersection of these two issues, by preventing food waste in the dining halls and diverting leftovers to Food Gatherers as a resource for the food insecure of our community. FRN at Michigan provides opportunities for community engagement through awareness with educational and social events, and hands-on engagement with daily recoveries.
Click here to learn more about Food Recovery Network.