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PERC wins EPA's  
Endorser of the Year award!

On a beautiful Earth Week spring day, dozens of people gathered in the atrium of Franklin and Marshall College’s New College House to watch as the EPA recognized PERC’s PA Higher Ed Food Recovery Challenge as an innovative way to reduce food waste and in the process, cut carbon emissions, fight climate change and feed the hungry.

At the ceremony, Shawn Garvin, Regional Administrator for EPA’s Region III said, “Today, we are honoring PERC, with the EPA’s prestigious Food Recovery Challenge Endorser of the Year award. Specifically, PERC recruited 22 colleges and universities statewide… reducing, donating and recycling excess food.”

"None of this would have occurred without the leadership of PERC.”
-Shawn Garvin Regional Administrator, U.S. EPA 
The PA Higher Ed Food Recovery Challenge is a PERC initiative in partnership with the EPA, sponsor Sodexo and over twenty of Pennsylvania’s colleges and universities, including Franklin and Marshall. F&M composted more than 70 tons of food waste in 2014. F&M’s Dean of the College, Margaret Hazlett, said that composting is part of a larger sustainability movement on campus. “The College has a serious commitment to sustainability as evidenced by our Sustainability Master Plan and our signing of the Presidents’ Climate Commitment. We are very proud of our sustainability efforts, especially the composting.”

In his remarks accepting the award on behalf of the participating Pennsylvania campuses, PERC’s Executive Director, Josh Hooper, said, “One of my favorite aspects of the Challenge is the ways it touches students. When you The EPA's Sean Garvin presenting the award to PERC's Josh Hoopersee students working alongside their professor in a composting operation or students running a staff of volunteers to ensure that food donations get to the hungry on a daily basis, you understand the kind of long-lasting impacts this program can have. Because it goes beyond the metrics—every one of those students who has had this kind of hands-on interaction with the work of sustainability will take those lessons forward in life, whatever career path they choose.”

Mr. Garvin praised the PA Higher Ed Food Recovery Challenge for combining the strengths of public, private and non-profit organizations. He pointed in particular to Sodexo’s involvement. “I want to recognize their leadership in this unique partnership that diverts food from Pennsylvania landfills.”  

Following Mr. Garvin's praise for Sodexo's contribution, Carty McMullen, Regional Vice President for Sodexo, spoke about the collaborative synergy that makes the Challenge After the award: Margaret Hazlett, Sean Garvin, Josh Hooper, Carty McMullen and Julia Fleischwork: “It’s about a not-for-profit, a for-profit, a government agency and a college—students, faculty and staff—working together to make a difference. It was the team here (and) it was the students that were driving this process. And that’s really what’s important. That working together, we can make a difference and we can make these things happen.”

Mr. Garvin summarized the benefits of the PA Higher Ed Food Recovery Challenge: “Whether through food donations to hunger relief organizations or by composting, the Food Recovery Challenge proves that we all win when we feed people and the planet instead of the landfills. And none of this would have occurred without the leadership of PERC.”

The entire event is available on YouTube...

Click to watch the video on YouTube180

 Segment Locator

 00:00 Julia Fleisch, F&M

 01:25 Shawn Garvin, EPA

 08:15 Josh Hooper, PERC

 13:45 Margaret Hazlett, F&M

 17:10 Carty McMullen, Sodexo

Click for Full SizeShawn Garvin, Regional Administrator of the U.S. EPA's Region III, talking about the PA Higher Ed Food Recovery Challenge.

Click for Full SizeSodexo Regional Vice President Carty McMullen talked about the effectiveness of collaboration in the Food Recovery Challenge partnership.

Click for Full SizeF&M student Julia Fleisch of F&M's Environmental Action Alliance 
served as MC for the event. 

Click for Full SizePERC Executive Director Josh Hooper accepting 2014 Endorser of the Year award.

Click for Full SizeDean of the College Margaret Hazlett speaks about composting food waste as an important part of F&M's sustainabiiity work.

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