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Food Recovery Network

Trisha Ray
Food Recovery Network is an organization that focuses on recovering leftover food in dining halls.  I really enjoy this service event because you get to see the immediate impact of your work.  The Food Recovery Network organization does a great job of organizing recoveries at Okenshield’s, Becker, and RPCC on a weekly basis.  This semester APO is helping recover food every Thursday at RPCC after dinner.  I really enjoy seeing RPCC after hours and how the kitchen works.  The staff is really nice and they always help us wash our containers and trays that are needed for the recovery.  The overall process of recovering food is really simple: we take the leftover food, put it in a cool blaster, and then put it in Food Recovery Network containers.  That’s all it takes to reduce food waste and provide people in need with food!  I always feel super fulfilled after volunteering with FRN, and I look forward to volunteering there more often.
Courtesy of Sustainable Campus
The first time I volunteered with FRN, there was a lot more leftover food than expected.  We had trays and trays of food that we had to move from their original containers to larger trays so that the food would cool down faster in the cool blaster.  It is important that the food reaches below 40 degrees before we can take it out and deliver it to the Food Donation Network, so moving the food into larger trays helps do that more quickly.  The next time I volunteered, there was a more normal amount of leftover food at RPCC, so I was surprised that it didn’t take as long as the first time to recover the food!  Overall, I think this service event is really great because it combines on-campus service with off-campus service since the work we do at RPCC helps the greater Ithaca community.