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West Chester University food-recovery program helps the homeless

​After any large reception, what happens to the leftovers? At West Chester University, they become part of a food-recovery program.

Denise M. Polk, professor and chair of the Communication Studies Department, has received two EPA grants to support a food-recovery pilot program. After WCU President Christopher Fiorentino’s annual campus address and reception this fall, Polk and WCU students Grace Harvey and Brooke Macellara delivered approximately 80 pounds of food to a shelter “uptown” in the heart of the Borough of West Chester. It was made possible through the University’s Lawrence Dining Hall (with food service provided through Aramark) and in partnership with the borough’s first sustainability coordinator, Meghan Fogarty.

In keeping with West Chester University’s commitment to make a difference in the lives of others, they hand-delivered five bowls of fruit (27.5 pounds), six sheet-pans of veggies (34.5 pounds), about five bowls of lettuce (two pounds), two platters of tomatoes (14 pounds), one large box of potato chip baggies, one tray of cookies (approximately two pounds), and two trays of iced tea. At the shelter (Safe Harbor, a non-profit charitable organization whose mission is to provide support services to homeless single men and women in Chester County), the WCU trio unloaded the food and helped stock the refrigerator.