USD Food Recovery Network Looks Forward to Second Year

Photo of student with box of food. Food Recovery Network member John Fanta carries a box of donated food to Vermillion's Welcome Table.

VERMILLION, S.D. – The University of South Dakota Food Recovery Network chapter looks forward to its second year in operation reducing food waste and providing meals to the Vermillion community.

“It’s an easy way to get involved on campus and in your local community,” said Hailey Purves, a dental hygiene senior at USD and Food Recovery Network chapter founder. “By giving up an hour each week…That hour can truly change people’s lives as well as prevent food waste.”

The Food Recovery Network partners with Aramark, USD’s on-campus food provider and the non-profit agency, Welcome Table, to distribute usable food items to local non-profits.

According to John Lushbough, founding director of Vermillion’s Welcome Table, the organization has “more than doubled” the amount of food served. He credits the Food Recovery Network for providing 80% of the food served, helping the organization save between $500-$750 and feed over 150 people per week.

He praised the Food Recovery Network and Aramark for making special efforts to preserve food items, summarizing their efforts as “Unbelievable!”

To continue to battle food insecurity, Food Recovery Network’s focus in 2017-2018 will be seeking to increase the amount of “rescued food” by finding additional sources in the community. “I would like to get more students involved in the program to both raise awareness and give the program more support from the campus,” said Marisa Helms, incoming chapter president and medical biology major.

To learn about USD’s Food Recovery Network chapter and other service-learning opportunities, please visit AWOL’s Food Recovery Network website.


Housed in the Center for Academic Engagement and Global Engagement, AWOL (Alternative Week of Off-Campus Learning) offers students the opportunity to combine community service with education during academic breaks. Prior to departure, students participate in six weeks of educational training. By utilizing experiences and education, AWOL enables students to become active citizens whose community becomes a priority in their everyday life and provides them with avenues for continued community involvement and learning.


Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 205 undergraduate and 73 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 17:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 17 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.


Michael Ewald
USD News