The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

Food Recovery Network makes comeback

Food+Recovery+Network+members+make+weekly+trips+to+Safe+Harbor+in+downtown+Easton.+%28Photo+courtesy+of+Dylan+Gooding+23%29
Food Recovery Network members make weekly trips to Safe Harbor in downtown Easton. (Photo courtesy of Dylan Gooding ’23)

For several years, Lafayette’s Food Recovery Network (FRN) operated with the goal of helping to eliminate food waste on campus through weekly trips to take leftover food from Dining Services to the Safe Harbor Easton shelter. However, due to complications from the COVID-19 pandemic as well as the graduation of many of the club’s members, the network was forced to take an indefinite hiatus.

Dylan Gooding ’23 has plans to bring it back.

Gooding, the current president of FRN, decided to look into bringing it back to Lafayette after being inspired by an article he read in The Lafayette written by Selma O’Malley ’26.

“It kind of started with Selma’s newspaper article,” Gooding said. “I talked to Chelsea [Morrese], who is the director of Landis, and there’s a very long email chain with sustainability and Dining Services, and also LaFFCo [The Lafayette Food and Farm Cooperative] was in there. That culminated in a meeting in December which was kind of just laying out the groundwork for what this could be.”

“We did a test run in early December at the end of the semester [and] I was in communication with Safe Harbor down in Easton,” Gooding continued. “I brought like forty pounds of food in my trunk and drove down.”

Although Gooding did the test run by himself, he’s already found a few students who are interested in helping. In a relatively quick thirty-minute process, Gooding and some volunteers will pick up food from Marquis Dining Hall, weigh it and then take it down to Safe Harbor.

Despite the ease of collecting the food and transporting it, FRN is just getting started and is currently facing issues with having enough volunteers. O’Malley hopes that with more attention brought to the new club, the issue can be resolved.

“Not a lot of people know about it and it’s just such a simple task,” O’Malley said. “The issue is that obviously I’m free to do it, so that’s why I help out, but it would definitely ensure the future of the program [to have more people], especially because Dylan’s a senior so he’s going to graduate.”

Samantha Peabody ’25, the current president of LaFFCo, recently started working with FRN. With LaFFCo working to facilitate various discussions around environmental justice, Peabody said that FRN would only further help the club toward the goal of environmental awareness.

“There has always been a big interest in reducing food waste on campus,” Peabody said. “We have these things called Food and Farm Study Salons and that has always been a recurring topic on how we need to work on that. It’s very true how much food Lafayette College and all the students waste every day.”

Not only has FRN helped aid in limiting some food waste, but Peabody has seen a positive impact on the Easton community.

“It might take a while for it to show data for the college in terms of food waste, but I definitely do see how we impact the community here,” Peabody said.

Even with a limited number of volunteers and a looming graduation date, Gooding and other volunteers in FRN have already been able to donate a hefty portion of food.

“I think so far we’ve donated over a hundred fifty pounds of food. So, it’s a lot of food … It makes a really big difference for the people in that shelter because they rely on donations,” Gooding said. “Every Friday they have at least some food come from Lafayette [and] it helps a lot for Lafayette because it reduces waste. And it helps them because it makes it easier for them to get their next meal.”

People interested in volunteering for FRN can sign up at bit.ly/3Y49gV2.

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Kendal Davis, Staff Culture Writer

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