October 28, 2013
Inspired by MTV’s Do Something Awards, an Alma College student is spearheading a local food project, recovering surplus perishable foods that would otherwise go to waste and donating it to people in need.
Christelle Bangsi, a junior from Southfield, with help from sorority sister Giselle Castillo, a junior from Stockton, Calif., have implemented their program on Alma College’s campus and hope to expand their food recovery efforts to the greater Alma area.
“I was watching MTV’s Do Something Awards, and the president of the Food Recovery Network was highlighted,” says Bangsi. “I was looking to get involved in something philanthropically, so I found out more about the organization and reached out.”
Working with staff from Sodexo, Alma College’s food service provider, Bangsi brings left-over cooked food from Hamilton Food Commons to Community Café at First Presbyterian Church every Thursday. Pasta, pork loin, stuffed and mashed potatoes, desserts and soup have been included so far.
“The support we’ve received has been incredible,” says Bangsi.
Since the national Food Recovery Network began working with college campuses in September 2011, more than 96,000 meals have been recovered.
“I continue to be impressed by Christelle’s willingness to give so much of her time, energy and effort for such a great cause,” says Steve Watkins, Sodexo general manager at Alma College. “We are proud to be a partner in finding practical solutions in the effort to eliminate hunger both locally and throughout Gratiot County.”
Bangsi plans to explore additional recovery opportunities in Alma’s downtown area for the Food Recovery Network.
“We’re looking to expand; there’s a lot of room to take this to the next level and help people,” says Bangsi. “It’s tax deductible, so there are big opportunities here.”