Sasha Purpura, MBA ’11, Executive Director of Food for Free, was interviewed on WGBH’s PBS NewsHour Shares program on February 6. Food For Free, a food rescue group based in Cambridge, MA, launched a program where student volunteers package 1,200 pounds of leftover food into microwaveable meals for those in need. Sasha explains, “This is something that a university in Western Mass., in Worcester, a corporation could do. It enables them not only to stop throwing out perfectly good food. It lets them engage their student population, their employee population in group volunteering activities, giving back to their community.” Sasha hopes to make this program a model other schools and companies will adopt.
Food For Free improves access to healthy food within the community by rescuing food that would otherwise go to waste, strengthening the community food system, and creating new distribution channels to reach under-served populations. They envision “a future where everyone in the community – regardless of age, income or ability – has consistent access to fresh, healthy, delicious food.” Through a combination of farming, food rescue, and transportation services, they give food programs year-round access to fresh produce, and their direct service programs bring food to students, seniors, and others most at risk of hunger. Their programs address short-term hunger, as well as the long-term health effects of food insecurity and poor nutrition.