2017 Catalyst Award Finalist
Derek Fiorenza has been concerned with food insecurity since his undergraduate days at Villanova University. His earliest efforts at feeding the hungry involved bringing his family together to serve 25 meals at a homeless shelter over the holidays in 2007. This initiative grew each year and, in 2011, Derek founded Fiorenza’s Food For Friends (F4) with the vision “to create a world without hunger.” Originally financed out of his own pocket, the startup organization has blossomed, serving more than a million meals across 23 states in the past five years.
With nearly 40% of the American food supply going to waste, Derek’s mission in creating F4 involves connecting available sources of food to those in need. He accomplishes this by rescuing food from restaurants, schools and universities, hospitals, and retirement communities and then distributes it to local agencies. Additionally, Derek organizes food drive opportunities with local businesses to benefit shelters in multiple states from Pennsylvania to Florida. Since forming F4, Derek has laid the foundation of an effective organization and recruited 25 community-based leaders for the Board of Directors. F4 reached a new milestone in 2016 when it hired its first Executive Director. Derek continues to channel his energy and passion for ending food insecurity by speaking publicly on hunger awareness, championing the issue in his community and peer networks.