Market Overview

Food Recovery Network Announces First Board of Advisors


An all star cast of experts and professionals in the fields of nonprofit management, food waste prevention, and public relations volunteer their time and experience to help a rising nonprofit.

College Park, MD (PRWEB) October 25, 2012

On Wednesday, the Food Recovery Network (FRN) unveiled its first ever Board of Advisors, made up of executives and experts from the business and nonprofit sectors.

FRN was founded last year by college students to donate the surplus food from their campus dining halls to people in need of a meal. In its first year, FRN donated over 83,000 pounds of food that would have otherwise gone to waste from four college campuses – University of Maryland, College Park, Brown University, Pomona College, and University of California, Berkeley.

But as the students running FRN seek to turn four chapters into 400 chapters, they recognized that a successful expansion is reliant on identifying and implementing a sustainable and long-term strategy. To do this, the student-run nonprofit and its Founder, Ben Simon, have asked some of the world's most prominent leaders in the field of food recovery and food waste to lend a hand.
Food Recovery Network's new Board of Advisors includes the following leaders:

Robert Egger is the Founder of DC Central Kitchen, which provides meals from donated food and job training programs for the unemployed. Since opening in 1989, the Kitchen has given 1,000 individuals full time employment and produced more than 25 million meals. Egger also founded the Campus Kitchens Project, which is the only other national program doing student-led food recovery on college campuses.

Tim Kunin is the CEO of CharityUSA/The Greater Good Network, which maintains and several other e-commerce websites which allow users simple, effective, and gratifying ways to generate contributions to charities while they shop.

Jerry Lynch is the Chief Sustainability Officer at General Mills. His aim is to promote and implement the environmentally sustainable efforts of the company on a global scale.

Jim Larson is the Program Development Director at the Food Donation Connection, one of the largest and oldest food recovery programs in America. Annually, the Food Donation Connection donates over 35 million pounds of surplus prepared food, providing meals to those in need while benefiting donors through tax return savings.

Stephanie Nagy Shewmon is an Account Supervisor at Edelman Public Relations. Edelman PR helps companies redefine their social purpose and business relations. Shewmon also helps lead the Washington D.C. Taste of the Nation, sponsored by Share Our Strength, which raises thousands of dollars for hunger-fighting nonprofits.

Ben Slye is the Senior Pastor at the Christian Life Center of Riverdale, Maryland, which receives and distributes food donations from FRN and has a long history of aiding the local community through various outreach programs. Pastor Slye also recovers about 30,000 pounds of food each week from Taylor Farms, the largest produce distributor on the East Coast.

Tristram Stuart is an international food waste expert and the author of the acclaimed book, Waste: Uncovering the Global Food Scandal. He also founded Feeding the 5000, which raises awareness about food waste by providing a nutritious meal to 5,000 individuals out of food that was deemed as waste.

Fay Johnson is the Founder and CEO of a Washington, D.C.-based consulting company, Red Balloon Ideas. The firm helps global organizations, corporations and grassroots activists realize their goals of making social change.

Colleen Wright-Riva is the Director of Dinning Services at the University of Maryland, College Park, which is the oldest and largest food donor to Food Recovery Network. Prior to her work at UMD, Wright-Riva started several innovative programs in the campus dining leadership at Cornell University for six years.

Gary Oppenheimer is a CNN Hero and the Founder and Executive Director of, which helps gardeners reduce food waste by connecting them with local food pantries. To date, has donated over 20 million pounds of food.

The diverse skills and expertise of the advisors ensures that FRN can achieve and expand its goal of redistributing surplus food from college campuses to families and individuals in need of a meal.

This spring and summer, in pursuit of expansion, the Food Recovery Network won a combined $30,000 in awards, taking home the grand prize in two major social entrepreneurship competitions, the Banking on Youth Competition and UMD's Kevin Bacon Do Good Challenge. In November, Founder and Executive Director Ben Simon will be flown to Miami to compete for $100,000 in the 2012 *abc Continuity Forum.

The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that 70 billion pounds of food is wasted each year in the United States, amounting to about 40% of the food grown in America. Meanwhile, 49 million Americans struggle with food insecurity, according to the Census. The Food Recovery Network estimates that the wholesome, surplus food wasted from American college campuses amounts to about 22 million pounds of food each year.


The Food Recovery Network unites students at colleges and universities across America to fight food waste and hunger by recovering surplus perishable food from their college campuses and surrounding communities that would otherwise go to waste and donating it to people in need.

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