Life is more uncertain now than ever, and millions of Americans are experiencing food insecurity – not knowing when or where they’ll get their next meal. Beyond that, food waste is more prevalent than ever, with restaurants and universities closing their kitchens nationwide. This Earth Week, we’ve decided to team up with Food Recovery Network, a non-profit organization dedicated to fighting waste, and feeding people. To aid in their amazing work, from 4/20 to 4/27, we’ll be donating a meal through Food Recovery Network for every order placed on EarthHero.com! Read on to learn more about this non-profit, and how you can get involved!
About the FRN
The Food Recovery Network (FRN) unites college and university students across the country to fight food waste and hunger by recovering perishable food that would otherwise go to waste from their campuses and communities, donating it to people in need.
Studies estimate that nearly 40% of food in the USA is never eaten – although 1 in 8 Americans struggle to put enough food on the table for their families. By working to recover food before it’s wasted, they not only save money and resources, but provide people nationwide with food security. At its core, FRN empowers student leaders to break down barriers and create stronger communities, effectively changing the food waste norm in the USA.
Since 2011, FRN has grown to be the largest student movement against hunger and food waste in the country, with over 200 chapters in 44 states. To date, they’ve donated over 4 million pounds of food, 3.2 million meals, and prevented 7.4 million pounds of CO2 emissions.
Although the world has changed a lot in the last few months, one thing remains – food waste and food insecurity, more so now than ever. To aid in the COVID-19 crisis, FRN has worked with their student-led chapters, food businesses, and non-profit partners to recover as much food as possible and distribute it to those in need.
Within their student-led chapters, FRN staff are connecting with student leaders to ensure students can remain engaged in the food recovery process in spite of campus closures across the country. As schools and universities began announcing these closures, FRN jumped into action to organize emergency food drives.
In mid-March at Pepperdine University in California, student leaders accelerated the timeline of their food collection drive planned for May, and recovered more than 500 pounds of non-perishable food to donate to a local food bank. Additionally, all other FRN summits have been transformed into virtual events, discussing food justice, waste reduction, and food recovery organizing – forwarding FRN’s mission even in this difficult time.
In addition to their student-led chapters, FRN has been working directly with food businesses that are having to shut their doors. Their Food Recovery Verified (FRV) team is working with major food distributors to donate food from cancelled events, and 12 new food donor partners have reached out to initiate food recovery programs in response to COVID-19. Surplus food from these partners have been donated to 7 new partner agencies, as well as 3 partner agencies already part of their community. Additionally, the FRV team created a Food Recovery Guide resource to provide guidance for restaurants and other food businesses of any kind to safely donate recovered food to non-profit partner agencies that support local communities.
They’ve also teamed up with other hunger-fighting non-profit partners that are working hard to support a substantially increased demand for food and resources. As unemployment and school closures affect millions of families, their community is finding innovative ways to connect food businesses, farmers, and food access partner agencies to each other – ensuring that food is not wasted, and families get the food they need. On Stop Food Waste Day (April 29th!), and for the next few months, FRN is hosting a donation-based community fund campaign to benefit 3 of their non-profit partners who are most impacted by COVID-19.
How You Can Help
One of the main missions of EarthHero, now and always, is to help those in need, and create a better world – starting with local communities and families. In that spirit, we’ve partnered with Food Recovery Network to donate meals and support their COVID-19 efforts. From 4/20 to 4/27, we’ll be offering 15% off site wide (use code EARTHWEEK) – and for every order placed we’ll donate 1 meal through FRN.
If you want to further support their efforts, you can donate directly to Food Recovery Network here! Plus, check out their Food Recovery Guide, an amazing resource that outlines 4 simple steps businesses can take to donate surplus food to a local non-profit organization.
We’re so proud and thankful to be partnering with Food Recovery Network, and look forward to helping them fight hunger, and reduce food waste. Happy Earth Day!