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College Pals Raise $15M and Collect 100 Million Lbs. of Surplus Food to Fight Food Waste and Insecurity


In April 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic had taken hold in the U.S. Hospitals were filling up, thousands were dying and the country's food supply chain was strained as workers got sick and businesses shut down in an attempt to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.


Ben Collier and Aidan Reilly, then 21, had just been sent home — Reilly to Los Angeles and Collier to Connecticut — during their junior year at Brown University, when they observed how labor shortages had caused food from local farms to go to waste as food banks scrambled to feed millions in need.


"There was bad news every single day, and we're like, 'Where can we help?' " Reilly tells PEOPLE.


The college friends decided to rent a U-Haul and call up local farmers, offering to deliver surplus food to a local food bank. "A month later," says Collier, who joined Reilly in L.A., "we'd delivered a million pounds of food, and we're like, 'We haven't even really started this thing.' "



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