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Cafeterias and restaurants throw away thousands of pounds of food
Americans waste 40 percent of our food, and one in six Americans go hungry. We’re producing way more food than we need. It’s one of America’s biggest environmental problems.
"The very first time I heard about how large the issue of food waste was, I was a sophomore at the University of Maryland. I had seen it on a small level in my daily life, too. I was shocked to walk onto the University of Maryland’s campus cafeteria and witness students throwing away half a sandwich like it was no big deal."
Solution: Network of universities and restaurants collects and redistributes excess food
Entrepreneur Ben Simon wants to see food waste recovery become the norm so that, as the world becomes more populated, we have young, trained professionals who know how to redistribute food right onto the plates of hungry people.
Simon, 24, is cofounder of Food Recovery Network, a nonprofit organization that collects surplus food from college campuses and distributes it to hungry community members. He started FRN while studying at the University of Maryland in 2011 with seven other college students around the nation. Now, there are 104 colleges that are part of FRN’s network, along with countless volunteers who collect and distribute the food. Though other organizations like City Harvest in New York City and D.C. Central Kitchen in Washington, D.C., also redistribute leftover food, FRN is unique in that it targets college campuses and student volunteers.