To continue our theme of tackling food waste in 2015, let’s get to know one of Bon Appétit Management Company’s inspiring food recovery partners, Colorado Springs Food Rescue (CSFR). Founded by Colorado College students, this nonprofit organization helps the Bon Appétit team at Colorado College fight food waste — one donated meal at a time.
A few months ago I joined Shane Lory, CSFR cofounder and a junior at Colorado College, and three student volunteers for one of their weekday rescue shifts at Rastall Café, Bon Appétit’s main all-you-care-to-eat café on campus. In just its first two years of operation, CSFR has recovered more than 100,000 pounds of food from local food businesses, which include the Bon Appétit cafés at Colorado College as well as grocery stores and restaurants, and donated it people in need in the Colorado Springs community. And mind you, they transport the majority of these 50 tons of rescued food by bicycle. (Talk about a good workout!) To date, the students have recovered over 11,000 pounds of prepared food from the campus cafés, which helps illustrate how well our other food waste fighting efforts are working.
During our particular post-lunch rescue shift, we packaged a hearty chicken-and-rice casserole, pizza, stir-fry tofu and vegetables, and spinach salad. After recording the temperatures and weights of the food, we loaded up the bicycle trailers to make deliveries to the Marion House Soup Kitchen and Urban Peak, an organization that serves youth experiencing homelessness in Colorado Springs. According to Shane, the consistently nutritious donations from CSFR and its partners have allowed Urban Peak to virtually eliminate their need to purchase additional ingredients for dinner.
While it’s easy to feel bogged down by the impacts of food waste and hunger in this country, CSFR’s achievements prove it just takes some pedal power and a passionate team of volunteers to make a difference. The good news is others around the country are beginning to take note. This fall the Today Show stopped by Colorado College to film the group in action. Click on the link above to watch the report and learn more about CSFR’s incredible work.