Recovering Food to Recover Lives: The Food Recovery Network

Students at McDaniel College walk into Glar every day to get breakfast, lunch and dinner. Considerable amounts of food are placed out to serve to students so that they can be well fed. However, these large serving amounts consistently result in leftover food being wasted because it has not been eaten or is undesired by the students. So what can we do to decrease or even eliminate food waste that can potentially be harmful to our environment?

The Food Recovery Network, or FRN, is a program that can help resolve this dilemma. This network helps to unite colleges and universities to prevent food waste, as well as hunger, by recovering perishable food and donating it to people in need.

McDaniel’s environmental club, Green Life, has decided to partake in a food recovery campaign. The Food Recovery Network program at McDaniel is being led by junior Casey Kelahan and sophomore Adrian Plaisance, with the involvement of other Green Life members.

According to Plaisance, “The Food Recovery Network is a national campaign to take extra food from our dining hall and give it to local food banks and pantries. The students in FRN are regulated by the national campaign and follow all safety regulations both local and national.”

The network will work to not only decrease food waste but also to aid those in need in the Westminster community.

Plaisance says that it was members of McDaniel community who convinced him to start an FRN chapter on campus. “A lot of students had asked me to start a chapter on campus so I decided it was only right to do so,” says Plaisance. Other students have also taken leadership roles within the organization.”

The program has been receiving significant from faculty in addition to students. Dr. Jason Scullion of the environmental studies department has agreed to be the faculty sponsor of the program.

“The students have good reasons for wanting to do the FRN,” Scullion says. “It helps connect the McDaniel community with the locals of Westminster. The FRN is a very tangible program and most importantly, people are hungry! Wasting food is not smart and the program will definitely help us be more conscious of what we consume.”

According to Scullion, it is evident that food waste is a serious dilemma, which makes the Food Recovery Network necessary. “The way we use food now is destroying our natural world,” Scullion says. “Consistently growing yet wasting food is one of the greatest negative impacts in our environment. If we continue to waste food, we will further contribute to climate change, damaged water resources, and harmful greenhouse gases. It is important that McDaniel students bring awareness to this issue and help make a difference.”

The Food Recovery Network Program at McDaniel is slated to start next semester. Students interested in becoming involved with the Food Recovery Network can contact one of the program’s co-leaders, Casey Kelahan or Adrian Plaisance, or attend a Green Life meeting, held on Mondays at 8 p.m. in Hill Hall 104.