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Food Recovery

December 12, 2012 Green Blog No Comments

Naomi Bloch

 

 

 

 

 

December 12, 21012

Potomac, Md

I hope that all of you had an abundant and enjoyable Thanksgiving holiday and  that you are preparing for the upcoming ones too.  The holiday season has two key aspects to it, food and giving.  It is also a time of year when many of us are reminded of just how many people are struggling with various levels of food insecurity

With this serious problem in mind, I was so happy to learn that our Montgomery County Council has adopted a resolution that establishes a working group to study the feasibility of a countywide food recovery system. This measure was inspired in part by the successful food redistribution program called The Food Recovery Network at University of Maryland, College Park.  Ben Simon, a University of Maryland undergraduate student concerned about food waste and hunger here in the DC metro area, started up this program.

Watch this Food Recovery Program video to better understand how  Simon was moved to start the program as a result of his extensive volunteering, as a teenager, at homeless shelters and food kitchens in the DC metro area.  This experience made him aware that there is an ongoing critical need to feed people while at the same time an alarming amount of good food is simply thrown away every day.

Thanks to the program, food from the on campus dining halls, sporting events and catered events is now sent to local food pantries, non-profits and faith-based groups who are feeding hungry families in the area.

I had the personal pleasure to meet Ben Simon at a food security panel discussion this past June 2nd in Takoma Park. The Montgomery County resolution  17-564  I mentioned comes a result of this panel, which also included Montgomery County council member Valery Ervin, sponsor of this bill.

The panel was organized by my friend, Gordon Clark, founder of the Montgomery Victory Gardens.

It isn’t very often that one witnesses a coming together of people and policymakers that results in direct and concrete actions.  This is why the news of this new working group  is of great interest to me.

The group that the Montgomery County Council has brought together naturally includes Ben Simon as well as many other stakeholders.  The list of people/organizations named is an impressive one:

Anne Sheridan of Share our Strength; Ben Simon of the Food Recovery Network; Brett Myers of Nourish Now; Jackie Coyle of Shepherd’s Table; Jeremy Criss of the County’s Department of Economic Development; Kate Garvey of County’s Department of Health and Human Services; Kathi Carey-Fletcher of Montgomery College; Barry F. Scher of the Capital Area Food Bank; Lindsay Smith of Montgomery County Food Policy Council; Marie Henderson of the Interfaith Works; Mark Bergel of A Wider Circle; Marla Caplon of Montgomery County Public Schools Food and Nutrition Services; Michele Dudley of Crossroads Farmer’s Market; Minerva Delgado of Manna Food Center; Patricia Drumming of Rainbow Community Development Center; Sarah Cunningham of Maryland Restaurant Association; James Perkins of Giant Food, LLC; Gregory Ten Eyck of Safeway, Inc.; Craig M. Shniderman of Food and Friends; and Richard Jackson of the County’s Department of General Services.

There are many different entities working toward the solutions that will be bring together the two sides of this problem; the people, restaurants, farmers and school cafeterias with too much food together with the people and non-profits that don’t have enough.

If all of this information has made you  interested in volunteering at the Food  Recover Network, check out the link below for more information:
The ultimate goal of this program is to eventually get most, if not all of the college campuses across the country to implement this program.

Please  also check out these additional links to other organizations where you can volunteer that are working on various aspects of the fundamental issue of food:

http://www.mocofoodcouncil.org

http://farmtofreezer.wordpress.com

Lastly, here are a few links with with factual information about how much food goes to waste here in the United States:

http://www.foodshedplanet.com/2010/11/introducing-next-michael-pollan.html

http://www.foodnavigator-usa.com/On-your-radar/Sustainable-sourcing/US-wastes-40-of-its-food-production-finds-NRDC?goback=%2Egde_2612649_member_179871648

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