Quinnipiac aims to curb hunger in Hamden

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Quinnipiac aims to curb hunger in Hamden

Kassidy Berger

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Quinnipiac University announced a new partnership with Haven’s Harvest to expand food security efforts in Hamden.

In a press conference held in the piazza on Tuesday, representatives from Quinnipiac, Haven’s Harvest, the Albert Schweitzer Institute, QU Dining and United Way of Greater New Haven spoke about the new collaboration to reduce food waste at Quinnipiac and distribute excess food to local residents.

This new partnership is aiming to develop Quinnipiac’s relationship with the town of Hamden. According to United Way of Greater New Haven, 12% of Hamden residents are food insecure and about 42% of Hamden school children qualify for free and reduced meals, compared to 35% at the state level.

“We are pleased to be able to partner with Haven’s Harvest and the town of Hamden to help reduce food insecurity, which impacts so many adults and children right here in Hamden, by putting any excess food to good use to help feed local families,” Bethany Zemba, vice president and chief of staff, said.

QU Dining will be donating excess food directly to Haven’s Harvest, which will deliver it to Hamden families in need. Quinnipiac students will volunteer with Haven’s Harvest to deliver this food each weekday during the school year, starting in January.

Executive Director of the Albert Schweitzer Institute and Professor Sean Duffy noted that, “between a quarter and a third of greenhouse gases being added to the atmosphere originate in our agriculture and food systems.”

Lori Martin, founder and executive director of Haven’s Harvest, is looking forward to the non-profit’s expansion into Hamden.

“Haven’s Harvest addresses a conundrum of our time: the existence of a huge amount of food waste and also high food insecurity rates,” Martin said. “We do this by overcoming the obstacles of food recovery; transportation of food and relationships in the community for us to be able to receive that food.”

This expansion has been made possible through a grant given to Haven’s Harvest by United Way of Greater New Haven. The grant is a part of the Hamden Food Security Task Force. According to United Way of Greater New Haven, the Hamden Food Security Task Force is “comprised of a group of dedicated non-profit organizations, food service providers, concerned citizens, town, and school representatives working together to forge partnerships in order to fight hunger in Hamden and close the opportunity gap created by food insecurity.”

Students who are interested in volunteering for Haven’s Harvest are encouraged to reach out to the Albert Schweitzer Institute by emailing schweitzer@quinnipiac.edu.