Oberlin Food Rescue Bike Trailer

Summary: In the spring of 2014, the GEF approved a sustainability grant of $1030.20 for the cost of purchasing a bike trailer. This bike trailer will be used to bring food from various places in Oberlin to Oberlin Community Services in order to reduce food waste and bring more healthy produce to food banks. The Oberlin College Bike Co-Op in conjunction with OCS have partnered with Pizza Hut and Campus Dining Services on this project so far. Noel, Yuran, and Paul served as project managers for this proposal.

Background Premise: The project has two primary goals: reduce food waste and bring more healthy produce to food banks.  Our inspiration comes from Boulder Food Rescue, a non-profit organization in Colorado that redistributes produce from grocers and restaurants that would otherwise be thrown away to non-profits that serve those in need, and Food Recovery Network, which does similar work but focuses on college cafeterias. About a quarter of the residents of Oberlin, Ohio are below the poverty line.  Many lower income people are partially dependent on food banks like the one in Oberlin Community Services in order to put food on the table.  But much of the food donated to OCS is semi-perishable and non-perishable, like canned soup, bread, pastries and cereal.  While these foods are important, these food banks have trouble getting other items like fresh fruits and vegetables that are essential to a healthy diet.

Cost-Benefit Analysis: Sustainability grants are for projects that provide clear and tangible sustainability benefits to the College, though the benefit is not measured in monetary terms. The GEF was confident in this project’s success because of the precedent set by previous similar initiatives. This project will allow for healthier food choices at a local food bank and will help reduce Oberlin’s footprint regarding food waste.

Additional Benefits: This project will help relationships between Oberlin College students, The Green EDGE Fund, Oberlin Community Services, and the people living in the city of Oberlin.

Check out Oberlin Food Rescue on Facebook!