Posted March 26, 2009
Actively interested in issues of hunger and food security in his hometown, Ian Yaffe arrived at Bowdoin eager to start a project that would connect the campus to the local community in a natural way. Applying what he learned from his high school community service experience, Ian met with Bowdoin Dining Service and the staff of Mid-Coast Hunger Prevention Program (MCHPP), the food bank in Brunswick, to propose his idea. Within months, the Food Forward program became a student-run service organization that transports nearly 6,000 pounds of unused food from campus to MCHPP each year.
Realizing the equal importance of educating their peers about issues of poverty, the student group has introduced Taste for Change dinners. At these, students cook gourmet meals and invite other students, faculty, staff, and community members, who pay a small fee to attend; proceeds are donated to non-profit organizations. Guest speakers discuss issues of hunger or poverty in the area. Recently Ian was recognized by Campus Compact for his efforts as one of five students nationally to receive the Howard R. Swearer Student Humanitarian Award for showing extraordinary commitment to improving their local and global communities.
“I have been amazed at what I have learned, not only about issues of hunger, but the importance of organizing for change to address issues with a longer-term vision.”