Binghamton University dining manager wins ‘Everyday Heroes Award’

This is a recurring recording of WBNG's 6am Morning Newscast.
Published: Jul. 21, 2023 at 9:29 AM EDT
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VESTAL (WBNG) - The staff and faculty at school are what help shape students into who they are and are pertinent to their experience there.

Binghamton University Dining Services Retail Operations Manager Christopher Harasta is doing just that. Harasta was one of five people in the country to receive the “2023 Everyday Heroes Award” from Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation, which is a non-profit that seeks to alleviate food insecurity.

“It’s an honor,” Harasta said. “It was surprising, it kind of caught me off guard if I’m honest. I certainly don’t feel like a hero. I feel like I’m doing the things I should be doing, but it was an honor to get it. I’m glad they’re taking the time to recognize these kinds of things.”

Harasta is not just involved in the dining services at the university, but also leads a couple of sustainability and fighting food insecurity initiatives. He is also involved in a few organizations in the community. Those include: The Sierra Club, which fosters the move-out group which is Harasta’s biggest success. VINES, or Volunteers Improving Neighborhood Environments, a local Binghamton organization that builds community gardens, as well as the Endwell Community Garden.

Harasta hasn’t been an activist his whole life, but now that he is, he says he will be forever.

“There was sort of a spark moment maybe seven or eight years ago that I realized I haven’t done a whole lot for my community and for the world,” Harasta said. “I realized I wanted to do more and hadn’t been.”

Harasta has big plans to expand his move-out project this coming school year and he says he is always looking for more opportunities to clean waste on campus.