Two Birds One Stone is the name of an NYU volunteer organization that takes hot, edible food leftover from dining halls and delivers it to homeless shelters around the city. As the name suggests, the goal is twofold: to combat food waste while also providing those in shelters with the sustenance they need.

In the United States, up to 40 percent of food produced is wasted, according to the Department of Agriculture, though most of it is healthy to eat. And in New York City alone, about 62,000 people sleep in shelters each night– a number that’s only increasing.

But while homelessness is getting worse, New York is leading in food waste recycling. Colleges across the country can also follow the club’s lead and join a chapter of a food recovery network (FRN). This national, student-started nonprofit organizes movements on campuses to fight waste and feed people.

This year’s club president is Sarah Rose Fetter, who’s been involved since her freshman year. She oversees the operations of the dozen people each night who gather at the separate dining halls to collect and deliver the food. Now a senior studying nutrition and public health with a minor in poverty studies, Fetter is passionate about reducing food waste, repurposing this food to help others in the process.

So how does the process work?

We have deliveries going out Monday through Friday nights from Third North, Weinstein and Lipton dining halls at 9:30 p.m. The delivery leaders for each dining hall create a schedule, and we always ensure there are at least two volunteers for each hall because we don’t want anyone to walk by themselves. When the dining halls close, they pre-package the food and we provide them with a cart if there’s a lot of food.

We deliver all of our food to the Bowery Mission because it’s about an equal distance from every dining hall– about 20 minutes. Our first week this year we donated 439 pounds, but it always varies how much food the dining hall has leftover. Last semester alone we delivered 6,000 pounds of food. The whole process each night takes about an hour, but it’s amazing the kind of impact we can make on the community.

How many volunteers do you have?

This year in total we have about 125 volunteers.

What’s been the most rewarding part of this?

I’m very inspired by the amount of interest that we have. I understand that at 9:30 on a Friday night the last thing people want to be doing is walking a mile to deliver this food, but the amount of people who are willing to stop whatever they’re doing– we’ve volunteered in the rain and snow– it takes dedication.

There’s also strength in numbers. You might only be delivering a couple pans of food one night, but that food really adds up. If every dining hall gives us a couple pans of food, that turns into a couple hundred, and over the semester that turns into a couple thousand.

Have you met the people living in the shelter?

We usually drop off the food and then they store it or serve it later. But I did go to the Bowery Mission one day and serve the food, and it’s just amazing. I don’t know what they would do without it because there’s such a high demand where it’s almost not enough. Yes we don’t want food waste, but I’m glad it’s going toward something because I don’t think they could feed as many people as they do without us.

How can NYU improve its food waste management?

NYU has so many clubs who order a ton of food. There needs to be an organized way to come together to donate food or spread information on how to donate. And we don’t even use all the dining halls. But if we could get enough manpower and expand to more dining halls, we could recover more food.