Charlotte students reduce food waste, feed hungry

Some Charlotte students are using their food waste reduction club to raise money for Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina.

The Food Savers Club, committed to reducing food waste and spreading awareness of food waste prevention strategies, organized a virtual fundraiser to help feed families affected by the coronavirus.

“We brainstormed several ideas on how to help needy families,” said Radhika Unnikrishnan, founder of Food Savers Club. “Considering safety and the importance of food banks in local communities, we chose to raise money for Second Harvest Food Bank.”

Since the coronavirus pandemic began, Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina has seen a spike in requests for food assistance.

“We want to spread our mission and assist more people throughout this crisis and afterwards,” Unnikrishnan said.

In addition to their online fundraiser, Unnikrishnan and five other club members are working to inform the public about how food can be reused and recycled to feed the hungry.

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Stay safe and don’t waste food. :)

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Using its social media platforms, the club posts weekly tips on practicing food waste reduction, while highlighting the negative impacts of food waste.

So far, the club has raised $940.

Within the next 30 days, Second Harvest will be packing tens of thousands of food boxes that will be distributed by over 800 agencies to families in need across 24 counties.

For the past 15 years, WSOC-TV and Second Harvest have partnered to end area hunger through the 9 Food Drive. One unforeseen effect of the coronavirus has been significant changes to how food donations can be collected and distributed.

This year, the 9 Food Drive campaign is transitioning to a virtual food drive and will only accept online monetary donations. Funds donated will help the food bank purchase staple grocery items so it can continue packing food boxes.

These boxes will help feed families whose children are missing school meals, seniors being asked to stay safely in their homes, those in need of food who are quarantined and employees in our community being affected by decreases in work hours. The number of struggling families continues to increase, along with their need for food.

Second Harvest has a donation program in place with different levels of giving. Donors can equate their monetary donation to what can be supplied by the food bank.

Here are some of the giving levels:

Donating $7 will help provide a food backpack for children missing school meals.

Donating $13 will help provide a food box of 12 to 13 healthy staple items.

Donating $25 will help provide a seven-day nutritionally balanced food box.

Food boxes are filled with a variety of items such as peanut butter, cereal, fruit and vegetables. Each box varies, depending on what items the food bank can purchase.