Social justice inspired by an internship
While working in the Zero Waste School Department at the nonprofit Seven Generations Ahead in Oak Park, Ill., Jaskowiak heard about the Food Recovery Network. Launched in 2011, The Food Recovery network is an international program that empowers students to donate unserved food from college campuses to shelters, soup kitchens and more. With chapters at more than 200 colleges, the organization has helped facilitate the donation of more than 3 million pounds of food and counting.
“After hearing about the Food Recovery Network at my internship, I thought: ‘How hard could that be to bring to North Central?’ As it turns out, not hard at all,” said Jaskowiak.
As soon as he got to campus, Jaskowiak put his plan into motion and rallied a team of volunteers. With one or two food recovery pickups every week from Chartwells at North Central’s Kaufman Dining Hall and Einstein Bros. Bagels in downtown Naperville, Jaskowiak has found plenty of support to keep the program going.
An outpouring of support from a variety of different student organizations such as Green Scene, Students for Social Innovation and Outreach has helped put North Central’s Food Recovery Network chapter on pace to surpass a goal of 1,000 pounds of food donations in a year.
Benjamin Ubert ’19, a history major, was one of the first students to join Jaskowiak.
“My interest in both social work and business operations lined up perfectly with the goals of this program,” said Ubert. “My favorite experience has been seeing the real-life effects practicing sustainability brings. Sustainable practices are good business practices, and I’m seeing their social impact as well.”