The Food Recovery Network (FRN) at Willamette is a chapter of the national non-profit Food Recovery Network, an organization that helps colleges recover surplus unsold food from their campuses that would otherwise go to waste and deliver it to hungry Americans. Founded at Willamette in the fall of 2014, the Food Recovery Network has donated over 27,000 pounds of our leftovers to hunger fighting agencies in Salem. We recover food from Goudy Commons and donate it to Union Gospel Mission and Women at the Well Grace House, organizations combatting homelessness and hunger in Salem, Oregon.
The mission of the Food Recovery Network at Willamette University is to fight food waste and hunger in the Willamette Valley by recovering surplus perishable food from our campus and donating it to people in need in our community. We aim to promote food waste awareness in our community and encourage positive sustainable action.
Nationwide, 17.5 million families, or one in seven, were food insecure last year, not knowing where their next meal would come from. In Oregon, 15 percent of families were food insecure in 2013. In addition, the poverty rate in Marion County is 19.5 percent and 24.9 percent of people receive food stamps. Both rates are significantly higher than state rates. At the same time, Americans throw out 35 million tons of food each year, about 40 percent of the food that is produced.