2023 Food Waste Solutions Summit

May 16-18, 2023 | St.Louis, MO

Cassie Olovsson

Director of Development

Food Recovery Network


Cassie Olovsson (she/her) is the Director of Development for Food Recovery Network (FRN), national nonprofit that works to combat climate change and end hunger by recovering perishable, surplus food from across the supply chain and donating it to feed people experiencing hunger across the U.S. Since joining the FRN team in 2018, Cassie has worked across nearly all areas of organizational development including program, communications, and fundraising. Today, as the Director of Development, Cassie uses her holistic knowledge of FRN’s programs and initiatives to direct all aspects of fundraising in support of FRN’s national college student-led food recovery mission and programming. Cassie is known for bringing energy and light into a space, leading with curiosity and always asking questions, and integrating feedback to increase personal and team performance. She graduated from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo with a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology. After venturing to Washington D.C. to start her career at FRN, Cassie has since then moved back to the California Central Coast where she now lives, plays, and explores alongside her partner, Aaron, and their puppy, Jade, while continuing to work remotely for FRN. When she’s not working or volunteering in her local community, Cassie is most likely to be found at the beach, her local thrift store, or an outdoor community yoga class.


Wednesday, May 17th

11:00am - 12:00pm

Innovate to Elevate: The Latest and Greatest in Food Recovery

Breakout Session (Running Concurrently)

Salvaging surplus food and redistributing it can ensure that food ultimately goes towards serving its highest purpose of feeding people. However, just 3% of surplus food ends up being donated, and most food donations are of processed, shelf-stable items that are easier to transport and store. As a result, many food relief agencies end up purchasing fruits, vegetables, and other perishables rather than rely on donations. What solutions can help further the rescue of high-quality, nutritious food and increase the capacity of food relief agencies to get it to the people who need it most, and in a dignified manner? Through a series of Pecha Kucha presentations, this session will highlight the latest and greatest happenings and resources in food recovery.

Thursday, May 18th

10:30am - 12:00pm

Around the Table in 90 Minutes: How to Leverage Catalytic Capital to Scale Impact

Workshop (Running Concurrently)

Identifying Necessary Innovation & Critical Funding Gaps

Catalytic capital — funding that is patient, flexible, and risk-tolerant — is critically important in sparking more traditional forms of capital into the food waste sector. Come learn about trends and gaps in food loss and waste investment,  how the ReFED Catalytic Grant Fund has deployed this type of capital to date, and how organizations are leveraging this type of funding. This session will include table discussions pinpointing areas for much-needed food waste reduction projects, initiatives, and innovation, as well as identifying funding gaps that need addressing and conclude with a share-out.

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