Time for Marshall to really go green

More than 110 colleges and universities in more than 30 states are involved in food donations and now it is time for Marshall University to step in.

More than 110 colleges and universities in more than 30 states are involved in food donations and now it is time for Marshall University to step in.

College campuses have donated 614,615 pounds of food since September 2011.

The Food Recovery Network is a student organization that originated at the University of Maryland after a group of students recognized a waste problem with the amount of food that was being thrown away in colleges.

Within the first year, the group donated about 30,000 meals to local shelters in Washington D.C., and as of May 2014, more than 400,000 pounds of food has been recovered.

Now, Marshall is getting involved.

It doesn’t make much sense to me that so much food gets thrown away, it seems like both those giving and taking would benefit from it.

— Suzann Al-Qawasmi

Marshall student Suzann Al-Qawasmi said she could not believe Marshall did not have a program sooner.

“Last semester my friend sent me a link to a video about how the Food Recovery Network got started,” Al-Qawasmi said. “After I watched it, I just couldn’t believe that Marshall didn’t already have a program like that here. It scared me how much food was going to waste and how it didn’t seem to really faze many people that it was happening.”

That alone was more than enough to make Al-Qawasmi want to get involved.

“I contacted the Food Recovery Network, a nonprofit organization dedicated to fighting waste while feeding the needy, and it’s been such an amazing experience,” Al-Qawasmi said. “What they do is phenomenal and the amount of people that have benefited from the work these students have put forth is phenomenal.”

Marshall student Bradley McCoy also supports the movement.

“I heard about it from social media a while back and thought it was an amazing idea, and I think it’s really wonderful that it’s coming to Marshall,” McCoy said. “It’s a good opportunity for students who want to get involved. It’s a great way to help others, and an even better way to reach out to the community. It’s something that everyone should help with.”

Al-Qawasmi said she thinks every school should have this program.

“It’s beautiful to think that students just like you and me are contributing to such a big movement that can help so many people,” Al-Qawasmi said. “It’s a program I think every school should have. There’s no reason why people in our community should go hungry while we are just throwing away food.” 

Al-Qawasmi said the goal of the organization at Marshall is to collect the excess food being thrown away at dining halls and donate to a partner agency.

The idea is students will volunteer to go to the dining halls after they finish serving food for the day, package the leftover food that has not left the kitchen or been in contact with students and deliver the food to Marshall’s partner agency.

Karima Neghmouche can be contacted at [email protected].