Students can pay 10 dollars for 60 pounds of 'rescued' produce

Borderlands Food Bank visits ASU campuses to provide cheap produce and reduce food waste

Every third Saturday of the month, Borderlands Food Bank partners with ASU Changemaker Central to provide 60 pounds of produce for only $10 for ASU students.

The initiative, which began in 1996, is meant to save produce that would otherwise be thrown away. According to the Borderlands Food Bank website, the rescued produce is "either excess produce from distributors" or “ugly produce that grocery stores won’t put on their shelves."

One of Borderlands' most popular programs is Produce on Wheels With-Out Waste, or POWWOW, which is hosted on a weekly basis around Arizona and once a month on ASU's West, Polytechnic and Tempe campuses.


Yolanda Soto, president and CEO of Borderlands, said POWWOW is flourishing because it's a way to combine two separate goals.

"I believe we are in a time where people are not only realizing they need to eat nutritiously but also cheaply ... and people are realizing we need to curb food waste," Soto said.

Soto said POWWOW also helps combat food insecurity for college students.

"There’s a tremendous food insecurity on our college campuses," Soto said. "Tuition is high. Book costs are high. Parents are suffering to give kids the best education. Kids are not eating healthy."

Members of Omega Phi Alpha volunteered at the most recent event on the Tempe campus as part of the sorority's commitment to public service.

Journalism junior Caroline Liddle said spending her Saturday volunteering at the event was worthwhile.

"It’s really important we’re doing this, or else this food would be in the landfills," Liddle said. 

Borderlands saves approximately 30 to 45 million pounds of produce per year. For $10, students get 60 pounds of produce such as squash, beans, tomatoes and bananas.

On the West campus, Environmental Advocacy, Restoration, and Technology for Humanity, or EARTH, partners with Borderlands for the event.

EARTH president and business senior Kaysey England said the partnership began in January 2016. EARTH was inspired to get involved because the club wanted to "bridge the gap between food waste and food security."

"Students want to get involved because they want to help their community and see that they can also thrive with efforts like this," England said.

The next POWWOW will be held on March 17, 2018 on the West, Polytechnic, and Tempe campuses. 

Editor's note: Caroline Liddle is a former employee of The State Press and was not involved in the reporting or editorial process for this story.


Reach the reporter at wmelhem@asu.edu or follow @wissmel on Twitter.

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