By Brendan Capuano
Do you ever wonder what Einstein Bros. Bagels at Sacred Heart University does at the end of the day with their leftover bagels?
They donate them to a local homeless shelter, thanks to the efforts of two students and their organization.
Greek Life Gives (GLG) is a newly founded, student-run organization that takes the food that can no longer be sold at Sacred Heart and donates it to the Prospect House, a local homeless shelter.
“We want to get everyone involved, it’s not just Greek life,” said Senior and Co-Founder of the organization, Brandon Gilliam. “Anyone can get involved.”
Gilliam and the other co-founder of the organization, David Dechent-Robertin, are both business majors and members of the Omega Phi Kappa fraternity.
“We were sitting in front of Einstein Bros. Bagels and they were giving away free bagels, and we thought, ‘oh sweet, free food,’” said Dechent-Robertin. “We then asked the employee what they did with the food every night, and they told us they throw it out.”
After hearing about a French Food Waste Law passed in early 2016, Gilliam and Dechent-Robertin were inspired to take action and give back to the community.
The French law prohibits supermarkets from disposing unsold food and forces them to donate it to charities and food banks instead, according to USA Today.
Currently, GLG is partnered primarily with Einstein Bros. Bagels in the Frank and Marisa Martire Business & Communications Center.
Every day during the week, not including Sunday’s, GLG members pick up the bagels, put them in a box and hand deliver them to the Prospect House so they can be distributed to people in the community that need them.
The Prospect House is an emergency homeless shelter located in Bridgeport, which according to CT.gov, “provides comprehensive case management services to meet the varied and complex needs of individuals who are homeless.”
The United States wastes about 133 billion pounds of food each year, which is equivalent to over $161 billion, according to the Huffington Post.
GLG also works alongside Campus Ministry to assure transportation on days when volunteers do not have their own way of getting to the Prospect House.
“A lot of people make reference to the words on the side of the chapel, but here’s an actual fulfillment of that,” said Larry Carroll, the Executive Director of Pastoral Services. “When I was hungry you gave me food; those folks are hungry. Our students are giving them food.”
The organization is currently in the process of becoming an official non-profit program and are looking to expand their mission to other bakeries in the area. Gilliam and Dechent-Robertin also want to take the model for the work they are doing and bring it to other schools.
The co-founders have also taken steps towards growing the mission of their organization beyond the hunger realm.
In addition to their food donations six days a week, they have participated in mental health illness awareness week, the Hearts Project and have donated money to the National Alliance of Mental Illness.
“Anyone who wants to help out is definitely welcome,” said Gilliam. “However involved you want to get, we are always welcome to get more people involved.”
If you, your student organization or team wants to get involved with Greek Life Gives, contact Gillian email@example.com and Dechent-Robertin at firstname.lastname@example.org.