York College senior Eileen Reavey doesn't like to see good food go to waste.

So she and about a dozen York Environmental Society members have decided to take unused food from the college's dining hall to the Catholic Harvest Food Pantry in York City.

It's a simple solution to a simple problem.

"Instead of going into the trash, it's going to be used," Reavey said.

The new arrangement, which has been going on for a few weeks, means regular prepared food dropoffs at no cost, said Kris Pollick, pantry director.

A recent dropoff included chicken and a side dish, and pantry clients only need to warm it up, an important factor since many don't have a full kitchen available.

"It's a lot of variety for our clients," Pollick said.

York Environmental Society member Eileen Reavey unloads trays of food with Catholic Harvest Food Pantry Assistant Director Tom Kellet at the pantry on
York Environmental Society member Eileen Reavey unloads trays of food with Catholic Harvest Food Pantry Assistant Director Tom Kellet at the pantry on Friday. Reavey, a York College senior from Frederick, Md., spearheaded the groups involvement in the national Food Recovery Network. The group takes unused prepared food from the colleges dining hall and donates it. (Bill Kalina photo)

Joining a network: York College will get to join a national network for the students' efforts, too.

Reavey got the idea about donating prepared food from a Facebook post connected to the Food Recovery Network. The grassroots network "unites students at colleges and universities to fight food waste and hunger by recovering surplus perishable food," according to its site.

York College is in the process of being recognized with its own chapter of the Food Recovery Network, making it one of about 20 colleges in the nation to do so.

At York College's first dropoff, the students had about 65 pounds of food to donate, Reavey said.

"We were just so elated about it. I couldn't have been happier," she said.

Pollick said another regular supplier of prepared food recently had to stop, so the York Environmental Society came just at the right time.

And since the food is made in a commercial grade kitchen, the prepared food can be accepted, unlike some privately-made donations.

"It takes just one person to take the steps to make the donations arrangement," Pollick said of Reavey's work.

-- Reach Andrew Shaw at ashaw@yorkdispatch.com