Master of Philosophy in Organizational Dynamics Theses

Document Type

Thesis or dissertation

Date of this Version



Submitted to the Program of Organizational Dynamics

in the Graduate Division of the School of Arts and Sciences

in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of

Master of Philosophy at the University of Pennsylvania

Advisor: Alan Barstow


Food waste is a significant problem of both social and environmental proportions. For myriad reasons, much of the food produced never makes it to market – but is sent to landfills – where it consumes limited landfill space and contributes to greenhouse gas emissions as it decays. There is much excess food (especially nutrient-rich produce) in the greater Philadelphia region to be captured for the needy, and there are motivated individuals to help in that effort. Food banks must strive to capture this food by creating strong relationships with growers and overcoming barriers to donations through effective planning, increased investment in logistical capability, a high service orientation to donors, and a local focus which harnesses motivated individuals and embraces collaborative partnerships. They must also consider creative approaches such as vertically integrated projects with agricultural schools to capture more produce. Success will spawn new programs. This paper details my effort to create relationships and pilot programs to capture fresh produce that would otherwise go to waste between January and September 2011.


Sustainable, Sustainable Food Recovery Programs



Date Posted: 02 March 2012