“Finish your food. There are people starving all over the world.”
Odds are, your grandma probably said that to you at one (or four) family reunions.
Grandma was a little off though; people aren’t just starving in other countries, but here in North America as well. For example, Americans waste upwards of 40 percent of our food while 50 million individuals in the country still do not have access to enough.
Seems confusing? That’s because it is. But one Millennial is taking the environmental issue of waste into his own hands.
Cue Ben Simon, a 24-year-old University of Maryland graduate who’s no stranger to nonprofits. Having founded two during his time earning an undergraduate degree, Simon realized the excessive waste Americans were producing — especially at large institutions like universities that overestimate quantities regularly.
Beginning with only seven students from four universities, Food Recovery Network was born with the idea that students at any given university gather surplus food from their university chefs and deliver it to various agencies, including homeless shelters, after-school programs for kids and senior centers.
Food Recovery Network can now be found at over 95 colleges and universities in 26 states, and has recovered over 400,000 pounds of food that would have gone to waste.