Sodexo Foundation Awards Food Recovery Network Grant to Fight Hunger
$150,000 in funding supports student-led efforts to donate nutritious surplus
food in local communities
GAITHERSBURG, Md., May 7, 2013
GAITHERSBURG, Md., May 7, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --Sodexo Foundation continues its
investment in youth engagement and the fight against hunger with a $150,000
grant to the Food Recovery Network, advancing its work to fight food waste and
The Food Recovery Network (FRN) is a consortium of college students fighting
hunger and food waste by recovering surplus food from their dining halls and
delivering it to local residents in need of a meal. Since its inception at the
University of Maryland, College Park in September 2011, FRN has expanded to 21
campuses in 9 states plus Washington, DC, recovering over 140,000 pounds of
"A staggering 40 percent of all food grown or raised in the U.S. goes to waste
while more than 50 million people in the country are at risk of hunger. Food
Recovery Network represents the type of innovative, student-led approach to
ending hunger that can affect real change in local communities," said Robert
A. Stern, chair, Sodexo Foundation. "Raising awareness about food waste and
mobilizing youth are critical components to ending hunger and Food Recovery
Network offers a model that successfully addresses both."
In June 2012, FRN Founder and Executive Director Ben Simon, a senior at UMD,
first encountered Sodexo Foundation when he was recognized as a regional
honoree for its Stephen J. Brady STOP Hunger Scholarship. Simon maintained
his relationship with the foundation, eventually approaching it that summer to
discuss expanding FRN to other campuses. These discussions continue into the
present, with hopes of a finalized partnership agreement on the horizon.
While the grant comes from the non-profit charitable arm of Sodexo, one of the
largest diversified services providers in the nation (including facilities and
food management), the funding will not be limited to the more than 850
colleges and universities served by the company. Of FRN's 21 campuses, three
are contracted with Sodexo: University of California, Davis, The George
Washington University, and Providence College.
"Food Recovery Network is extremely excited to be partnering with Sodexo
Foundation," said Simon. "Together, we're breaking down walls and advancing a
very common sense solution – food for people, not for dumpsters."
During its first 20 months, FRN was run entirely by student volunteerism. The
organization is currently led by a co-founding team of students who each
contribute 5-20 hours per week guiding other students across the country –
launching new chapters at their own colleges. Sodexo Foundation funding will
enable FRN to bring on full-time paid staff, provide capacity-building grants
to chapters, and further professionalize the organization.
According to the EPA, America's food waste amounted to 35 million tons in
2010. Ninety-seven percent of that ended up in incinerators or landfills,
where rotting food is a top emitter of methane gas, which is 21 times more
harmful toward climate change than carbon dioxide. At the same time, 50
million Americans are food insecure, including one in five children.
Simon says he envisions food recovery becoming the new normal, and aims to
have 1,000 Food Recovery Network chapters across the United States donating 10
million pounds of food by the end of 2017.
Visit Sodexo Foundation on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @STOPHungerUSA.
About the Food Recovery Network
The Food Recovery Network (www.foodrecoverynetwork.org) unites students at
colleges and universities across America to fight food waste and hunger by
recovering surplus perishable food from their college campuses and surrounding
communities that would otherwise go to waste and donating it to people in
need. Founded in September of 2011, it has since expanded to reach 21 college
campuses and recovered over 130,000 pounds of food that would otherwise have
been wasted. During that time, FRN has been covered by MSNBC, ABC, LA Times,
and the Washington Post, as well as being recognized by Guidestar as one of
the top student-run nonprofits of 2012. Over the next few years, FRN hopes to
expand to hundreds of colleges, recovering 10 million pounds of food by 2017
and changing the face of food recovery across the
Sodexo in North America
Sodexo, Inc. (www.sodexoUSA.com), leading Quality of Life services company in
the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, delivers On-site Services in Corporate,
Education, Health Care, Government, and Remote Site segments, as well as
Benefits and Rewards Services and Personal and Home Services. Sodexo, Inc.,
headquartered in Gaithersburg, Md., funds all administrative costs for the
Sodexo Foundation (www.SodexoFoundation.org), an independent charitable
organization that, since its founding in 1999, has made more than $17 million
in grants to end childhood hunger in America. Visit the corporate blog at
SOURCE Sodexo, Inc.
Contact: Sam Wells, Sodexo, Inc., 301 987 4893, firstname.lastname@example.org; or
Hannah Wolfe, Food Recovery Network, 919 619 2856,
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