Nutrition Students Fight Food Waste, Feed Troy Hungry

Amanda Millington ’16 and Kayla Tyrel ’15

Kayla Tyrel and Amanda Millington

Kayla Tyrel, left, and Amanda Millington delivered food to people in need.

“Being Nutrition majors, how could we not provide those in need with good food?” asked Amanda Millington RSC ’16. Inspired by similar programs at campuses around the country, Millington and fellow Nutrition Club members established a program to recover surplus food from McKinstry Dining Hall on Russell Sage’s campus and deliver the food to community agencies that feed people in need.

“It was a lot of work, but, thankfully, we had a lot of support,” said Millington. “We were able to help the national Food Recovery Network [which provided guidance to the students] reach its goal of one million pounds of food recovered!” In its first year — the 2015-2016 academic year — Sage’s chapter provided 866.4 pounds of food to Joseph’s House & Shelter, Unity House human services agency and the YWCA of the Greater Capital Region.

Cynthia Crocco Spector ’74 and Sherman David Spector Fellowship recipient Kayla Tyrel RSC ’15 used her award to supplement the costs for herself, Millington, and three other Nutrition Club officers to attend the National Food Recovery Dialogue in College Park, Maryland, in April. Millington and Tyrel (both now pursuing graduate degrees at Sage) said this conference was an important opportunity to learn from other Food Recovery Network chapters and ensure the continuity of Sage’s program — which they would love to see grow to include a recovery plan between Sage College of Albany and nearby agencies (The 22 volunteers recovering food in Troy in 2015-16 did include a Sage College of Albany student.)

At the end of its first year, the Nutrition Club received a Servathon Award from Sodexo, recognizing its contribution to Sodexo’s Stop Hunger initiative. “One of our professors told me we have the community talking!” said Millington.

Kayla Tyrel is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Health Services Administration at the School of Management. Amanda Millington is pursuing her M.S. in Applied Nutrition at the School of Health Sciences.