Parent Magazine

Did You Know?

Student Food Rescue saves over 100,000 pounds of food a year.

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Ever wonder what happens to the dented cans that no one picks off the shelf at Whole Foods, or all the leftover bagels after Panera closes for the night? If it’s in Boston, there’s a chance it’ll be snapped up by BU’s Student Food Rescue.

One of dozens of programs run by the BU Community Service Center, the Student Food Rescue team makes weekly runs to Boston-area restaurants, bakeries, grocery stores, and just about any other food establishment they can imagine (including BU’s food courts), and reallocates donated leftovers to local food pantries, soup kitchens, and homeless shelters. The rescue, administered entirely by over 100 students on their own free time, runs around 21 trips each week, collecting an average of over 3,500 pounds of food a week—adding up to between 100,000 and 150,000 pounds of food redistributed each year.

The students accept day-old bakery items, as well as overstocked boxes and cans that may have dents but are fine to eat. (They never salvage expired food.) The participating students commit one to two hours of their time each week and can go on trial van runs to get a feel for the program before diving in.


Former Student Food Rescue team member Tina Gruene (CAS'12). Photo by Chitose Suzuki for BU Photography; above video by Robin Berghaus

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