As part of a new food recovery initiative, Northland College students have been collecting leftover food slated for the compost bin—pizza, soup, mashed potatoes—from Chartwells Dining Service on campus and they package and deliver it to a regional food bank.
This initiative is part of a nationwide, student-led movement combatting food insecurity through eliminating waste on college campuses. Since 2011, the chapters of the Food Recovery Network have recovered over two million pounds of food across the country.
“The Food Recovery Network Chapter at Northland is an essential component of promoting a more sustainable and just food system in our region,” said junior Jenise Swartley, a sustainable community development major who helped start the project.
Chartwells often has food portions too small to save. Students take leftover to Larson Food Lab where they turn it into soups and/or package and freeze it for distribution to The Brick Ministries, a faith-based nonprofit organization serving low-income residents of Ashland and Bayfield counties.
In a recent poll by Northland’s Center for Rural Communities, ninety-three percent of households in Ashland and Bayfield County agree that everyone in this community should have access to healthy food. “By recovering and donating food, Northland aligns with regional community’s goals and values to increase the accessibility of healthy food,” said Todd Rothe, food systems manager. ⠀