Dining Hall Leftovers: Combating Hunger and Waste

Tania Taranovski, Director of Strategic Initiatives & Partnerships

Food for Free and Harvard University Dining Services join FINE for this webinar about how they're transforming dining hall leftovers into meals for the food pantry.

Hosted by: Farm to Institution New England


Learn how you can increase food access by transforming dining hall leftovers into single-serve, frozen meals for your campus or community food pantry in this one-hour webinar from FINE, Food for Free, and Harvard University Dining Services. Molly Hansen from Food For Free and Crista Martin from Harvard University Dining Services share how their organizations’ partnership created a program that produces thousands of single-serve meals annually.

They also provide information on their Food For Free University Partnership, an opportunity for colleges and universities to divert dining hall leftovers from the waste stream and instead contribute to reducing food insecurity and providing student leadership development. Food For Free provides comprehensive training and ongoing support for management of program implementation and data collection. Completed meals may be distributed through your institution’s on-campus food pantry and/or a community partner! New partners may be eligible to receive equipment and supplies (sealer, trays, labels, etc.) to get a program started.

Although the Food For Free University Partnership is currently limited to colleges and universities, we invite those who represent elementary, middle and high schools, culinary programs, and food rescue organizations to learn how this program can be adapted to your community needs. 



Tania Taranovski | Director of Strategic Initiatives & Partnerships, Farm to Institution New England 


Molly Hansen | Senior Program Manager, Food For Free
Crista Martin | Director for Strategic Initiatives and Communication, Harvard University Dining Services 


Recorded July 18, 2024

Speaker Bios

Molly Hansen holds an apple in an orchard

Molly Hansen, Senior Program Manager, Food for Free
Molly Hansen, M.Ed., is a non-profit professional with a specialty in higher education and college and university student food access initiatives. She has worked with various college food pantries over the past ten years, including creating and managing the DISH Food Pantry at Bunker Hill Community College. While at BHCC, she implemented a client-choice software model as well as refrigerated smart lockers, the first college food pantry in the country to do so. Currently, Molly works at Food For Free, a nonprofit in Somerville, MA, as a Senior Program Manager. Molly oversees the Heat-n-Eats program, which transforms leftover dining hall food into single-serve, frozen meals. She also established the Heat-n-Eats University Partnership Program in April 2024, which provides colleges and universities an opportunity to implement a meal packing site in their own dining hall kitchens. Originally from Tucson, AZ, Molly currently resides in Boston, MA and enjoys trying out new recipes, doing yoga, and hanging with her cat, Barbie. 

Crista Martin

Crista Martin, Director for Strategic Initiatives and Communications, Harvard University Dining Services
Crista Martin, Director for Strategic Initiatives and Communications, joined HUDS in 1998 and with her team coordinates online and print marketing, social media, market research, and public and media relations. Crista also spearheads HUDS Strategic Initiatives, guiding the planning and implementation of work in the areas of sustainability, food donation, business development and planning, customer service and more. She was named a "Food Hero" by the City of Cambridge in 2015 for her work on HUDS' food donation program. Crista has worked for several non-profit associations, and has degrees from Boston University and American University in public relations and creative writing.

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