MVC Launches Successful Food Recovery Network
Marshall, Mo. (January 16, 2020)—Addressing food insecurity within Marshall had been an ongoing conversation within the MVC Nonprofit Leadership Alliance (NLA). Jamie Gold, assistant professor of non-profit leadership, conducted research regarding the Good Samaritan Act and programs they could work with to address hunger within the community. After conducting research, the MVC Food Recovery Network (FRN) applied for recognition during the spring 2019 semester.
The Food Recovery Network is a student driven movement and there are currently over 230 chapters on college campuses across the country. Food recovery is the practice of preventing surplus edible food from ending up in the dumpster or landfill and rescuing it to serve to those who are hungry. FRN chapters must complete food safety training, identify community partners and find food donor sources.
In April 2019, the Food Recovery Network Chapter at MVC became official and in the fall of 2019 a partnership was secured with Fresh Ideas, the MVC on-campus dining service.
“Jamie and her team have done all of the work to make this happen and we are both ecstatic and thankful to be a part of it,” said Chuck Voltmer, Fresh Ideas director of dining services.
After securing the partnership with Fresh Ideas, the FRN had their first official recovery of the semester on October 30, 2019 and were able to recover 70.5 lbs of food during that one recovery. They continued recoveries until December 12, 2019, recovering a total of 622.49 lbs by the end of the semester. All food that is recovered is donated to HOOTS Resource Center, located in the Marshall community.
“When I was 21 I became a single mother,” said Olivia Meeder president of the MVC FRN Chapter. “I remember how hard it was to work, go to school and support my family. There were nights where I had to rely on eating at my grandparents’ house because I didn’t have enough money for groceries. There were times where I ate what was left over on my kid’s plates because I was too ashamed to ask for help. I want to help those who might be in a situation I was in. I also want to raise awareness that there is no shame in needing help. We are here for anyone no matter their situation and they will not be judged and they should not feel like their only choice is to go to bed hungry. I am proud to be a part of something bigger than myself.”
This semester the FRN plans to continue addressing hunger within the community, recovering food and reducing the carbon footprint. They also plan to continue working with Northwest Community Services and to develop more relationships within the community to spread the word.
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