This past weekend, hundreds of student hunger-fighters from around the country gathered at Northwestern University for the first-ever Food Waste & Hunger Summit, a two day conference co-hosted by The Campus Kitchens Project and Food Recovery Network. The event convened student leaders who are pioneering solutions to the interrelated problems of food insecurity and food waste and gave participants 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.
On Friday evening, the Summit was kicked off with a small reception with food donated by local restaurants and Northwestern Dining, during which The Campus Kitchens Project honored Sodexo with the Vision Award as an acknowledgement of their commitment to the fight against hunger in communities around the country.
The Summit began in earnest on Saturday morning with introductions to the host and partner organizations and an inspiring keynote by Robert Egger, founder of DC Central Kitchen, The Campus Kitchens Project and L.A. Kitchen. Summit participants then had the opportunity to participate in a variety of breakout sessions centered around hunger issues, initiatives beyond meal service, funding and more. Representatives from Sodexo, Bon Appetit and Chartwells were also on hand to discuss best practices in terms of food recovery from dining service providers.
On Sunday, Mike Curtin, CEO of DC Central Kitchen, welcomed the students back to another day jam-packed with opportunities for networking and sharing best practices. Attendees were able to attend a variety of breakout sessions on advocacy, student leadership development and leveraging volunteer experiences in the job search. Nicole Civita, visiting assistant professor of law at University of Arkansas and director of the Food Recovery Project, presented a plenary session on the Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Act and legal issues surrounding food recovery, and noted food waste writer Jonathan Bloom closed out the Summit with a final keynote address.
Thank you to everyone to attended and contributed to the Food Waste & Hunger Summit – the event was a huge success thanks to your support and enthusiasm! We were thrilled to meet and connect with a variety of organizations, including Food Recovery Network, Food Day, Real Food Challenge, Swipes for the Homeless, Society of St. Andrew, Rotary First Harvest, HungerU and No More Empty Pots, and we look forward to collaborating in the future!