From The Laurel of Asheville: UNC Asheville Helps Feed Its Community

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Food Connection

From The Laurel of Asheville
by Audra Goforth '17

The Clean Plate Club, a concept that grew out of food shortages during World War I, is a lesson many children are still taught today, with leaving food uneaten often viewed as disrespectful and wasteful. Asheville’s Food Connection takes the principle a step further by ensuring that food destined for the dumpster goes instead to those in need, thereby reducing waste and eliminating hunger.

“Food Connection allows someone who may not have eaten a well-balanced, delicious fresh meal in a while, or even someone who may regularly experience food insecurity, to enjoy the very food that people travel to Asheville and pay a lot of money to eat,” says executive director Flori Pate. “In the US, 40 percent of all the food produced is thrown away. Food Connection has kept an estimated 40,000 pounds of fresh food out of our local landfills and has connected the food to people who really need it.”

Donors submit an application and, once approved, Food Connection begins picking up surplus food immediately. The University of North Carolina Asheville (UNCA) began its partnership with Food Connection in 2015, and is now the organization’s biggest donor. Between 300 and 600 pounds of food is picked up from Brown Dining Hall every week and distributed to places like BeLoved Asheville and Trinity Place, shelters for runaway youth and the homeless.

To read the full story, visit The Laurel of Asheville website