Aerial view of campus with Williamsport, the Susquehanna River and Bald Eagle Mountain as a backdrop

Lycoming College students present at Food Waste & Hunger Summit

Lycoming College students present at Food Waste & Hunger Summit

Julian Jones, Johanna Hripto and Jen Carmody at the Food Waste & Hunger Summit at the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia. (Photo credit: James Souder, Food Recovery Network)

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Three Lycoming College students recently presented at the second annual Food Waste & Hunger Summit at the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia. The students who presented included Jen Carmody, a sophomore with a major in digital communications from Burlington, Connecticut; Julian Jones, a junior with a major in ecology from Washington, New Jersey; and Johanna Hripto, a sophomore with a major in ecology from Montrose.

The Food Waste & Hunger Summit convenes student leaders who are pioneering solutions to the interrelated problems of food insecurity and food waste. The Summit gives students a forum to learn from experts in the fields of social justice, social enterprise, public health, non-profit management and related fields in addition to the opportunity to share best practices. There were break-out sessions throughout the day, ranging from increasing volunteers and awareness for your programs, hunger issues in rural, elderly, low-income areas to increasing local food in school cafeterias and creating a zero-waste campus.

“The Food Waste & Hunger Summit was a zero-waste event, meaning that everything that was used at the event from utensils to posters was compostable,” said Hripto. “All presentations were distributed electronically and mason jars substituted for plastic water bottles.”

The three students were invited by the National Food Recovery Network to present a student panel session about strengthening relationships with your partner agencies as a result of the Lycoming College chapter’s success. Jones and Hripto spoke about the relationship the Lycoming chapter has developed with the American Rescue Workers, a non-profit that gives spiritual and material aid to those in need. Part of this development was made possible through Kaylin and Michael Kane, two Lycoming College alumni who are currently staff members at the American Rescue Workers. Since its founding in January 2014, the Lycoming chapter of Food Recovery Network has saved over 17,000 pounds of food from the landfill by donating it all to the American Rescue Workers.

The Summit was co-hosted by the Campus Kitchen Projects and the Food Recovery Network. The National Food Recovery Network organization paid the conference registration and accommodations for the three students as a thank you for the success of the Food Recovery Network Eastern Regional Summit that was hosted at Lycoming College in September 2014.

Guest speakers included: Doug Rauch, former president of Trader Joe's and also the founder and president of Daily Table, and Dr. Caree Cotwright, a prominent leader in children's nutrition who has worked with first lady Michelle Obama on her various nutrition campaigns.

Jones and Hripto are co-coordinators of the Sustainability Committee on campus. The Sustainability Committee consists of students, faculty members and administrators, and serves in an advisory capacity in relation to sustainability initiatives on campus. Jones is also the project manager of food recovery on the Lycoming campus, and Carmody will be her successor for the upcoming 2015-2016 academic school year.