Community Plates Becomes Food Rescue US; Launches New App

Community Plates, the volunteer driven, direct transfer, national food recovery organization,  has changed its name to Food Rescue US (FRUS) and has launched the next generation of their award winning app.  FRUS is focused on transferring healthy, usable foods to where it can feed those in need. This volunteer driven, technology fueled process coordinates with restaurants, grocers, bakeries, caterers and other food-service organizations, who have foods destined to be thrown away, and delivers the food to soup kitchens, food pantries and other hunger relief organizations serving food insecure individuals and families.

Established in 2011, Food Rescue US, specializes in large scale, grassroots, fresh food recovery resulting in equally large scale waste reduction. Currently operating in ten locations around the country, to date the organization has rescued and delivered over 16.6 million meals, saving 25 million pounds of food from landfill, at an estimated value of $42.3 million.

Executive Director, Kevin Mullins stated, “We’re excited to have a new name that better reflects our national focus and continued expansion initiative.  Through the recovery and direct transfer of fresh food, we have seen our national impact grow and intensify.  The launch of the next generation of the app is even more important as we move toward our expansion goal of 25 sites by the end of 2017.  We are actively seeking individuals and organizations to partner with us and bring FRUS to their communities. Our simple solution to ending local hunger works everywhere.”

The FRUS app, now available in the app store, is a unique, proprietary tool, allowing collaboration on an unlimited scale. The technology empowers individuals or food industry organizations, nonprofit and for profit alike,  to start a new food rescue community or expand an existing  food rescue program. Improvements include:

  • Viewing  the complete food rescue schedule through the Volunteer Food Rescuer Portal
  • Sign up for food rescues at the volunteer’s convenience
  • Following the Food Rescue Matching algorithm based on supply, demand, capacity and distance
  • Food Donors list and track their food donations through the Food Donor Portal
  • Allows the front line hunger relief organizations to list their specific needs and track the food they receive through the Receiving Agency Portal.

Download Our New App

We’re excited to announce our next generation app, now available for download!

The Food Rescue US app helps connect fresh usable excess food with hunger relief organizations who serve America’s food insecure population.

 

  • Available in the iOS App store
  • Faster, easier
  • New features so we (you!) can rescue more food
  • On-demand, self-scheduling volunteering
  • Volunteer recognition program

Big News! We’ve Changed Our Name and Launched a New App

Since 2011, food rescuers at Community Plates have delivered over 15 million fresh and healthy meals to people who don’t have enough to eat. Now it’s time for something even bigger. We’re proud to launch a new app – available for download now in the iOS store – that will make food rescue simple and seamless wherever you are.

And as we lead the food rescue movement from coast to coast, we’re excited to introduce you to our new name – one that shows who we are and where we’re heading.

Community Plates is now Food Rescue US.

 

Meet the Team: Melissa Spiesman, National Site Director for Community Plates

MelissaHometown/Current City:

Born and raised in Forest Hills, NY and I currently live in Stamford, CT.

What is your role at Community Plates?

As National Site Director, I coordinate and mentor on operations at existing sites, ensuring that each site has the necessary resources to maximize success. I am the liaison with partner sites, and develop relationships with potential partners.

What’s on your desk?

  • Cup of coffee and bottle of water
  • Mechanical pencils and sticky notes
  • to-do list
  • inspirational quotes-happiness is relationships not accomplishments

What do you like to do in your free time?

Exercise (yoga, hiking, cycling). Travel and eating with my family and friends. Relaxing on the couch, either reading or binge watching television.

How/when did you first become inspired around issues of American food insecurity?

On a trip to India, where I witnessed the poorest residents making some of the best food, with the little that they had access to. I realized we waste more food in this country than those people ate.

Who or what inspires you most?

My mom….my 2 daughters… the woods….the water

If there is one thing you recommend we could do to end hunger our communities, what would it be?

Change in our everyday habits around food waste and helping others. We need to educate and spread awareness about what it is to be food insecure and recognize that food insecurity exists in all of our communities.

In the News: National Resources Defense Council Profiles Community Plates

The Natural Resources Defense Council works to safeguard the earth – its people, its plants and animals, and the natural systems on which all life depends. That mission led them to focus on our founder and organization in a recent profile on their site.

Tech Support: The Software Developer Who’s Fighting Food Waste

by Jolene Edgar, NRDC.com

Jeff Schacher knew that restaurants waste food. And that people are hungry. So he invented a tech-savvy way to rescue millions of meals.

Jeff_web

Forty percent of food in the United States is thrown away every year, while an estimated 50 million Americans suffer from food insecurity. These figures are almost too high, their relationship too confounding, to fully grasp. Luckily Jeff Schacher, cofounder of the Connecticut-based food-rescue organization Community Plates, is on a mission to reconcile this problem.

Schacher became acutely aware of hunger when he was growing up near Flint, Michigan, in the wake of the devastating 1980s General Motors layoffs. “We always had enough food to eat, but there were tons of poverty-stricken, struggling families,” he recalls. “I’d see kids at school in the morning, waiting in line for free breakfast. It planted the seed of wanting to help people having hard times.”

Read the full story on NRDC.com

Meet the Team: Samantha Mauro

Hometown/Current City:

Bethel, CT/Stamford, CTSamantha Mauro

What is your role at Community Plates?

Social Media Coordinator

What’s on your desk?

Photos of my nephew and lots of sharpies.

What do you like to do in your free time?

I play volleyball, practice yoga and enjoy exploring new places.

How/when did you first become inspired around issues of American food insecurity?

When I was younger I hosted bake sales to raise money for a childhood hunger organization. The statistics hit close to home given my age at the time.

Who or what inspires you most?

Kid President – check out his videos on YouTube if you’re not familiar with him. He’s a great reminder on how simple and easy it is to be a decent human being and that we could all stand to laugh more.

If there is one thing you recommend we could do to end hunger in our communities, what would it be?

It starts with awareness. Just because we live in an affluent area doesn’t mean that everyone has a safety net for when the going gets tough. Join a group like Community Plates, participate in a food drive or volunteer at a local pantry or soup kitchen.

Update from our Cincinnati Partner, La Soupe

Busy busy busy! My mind is always blown away with the beauty of the food we rescue. We have many interesting things happening at La Soupe this summer! Here are just a few:

Runner Appreciation Party – August 28

We are having our first Stone Soupe volunteer food runner appreciation party on August 28th at La Soupe. We will be baptizing our new paella pan, which will feed 150-200 tapas portions! My hope is to take it into the food deserts, have a community chopping party, and show them how to cook!

Recycling Damaged Fruit

We are also negotiating with a local distiller to utilize the abundance of damaged fruits we receive and distill eau de vie…a fruit brandy that I grew up with in Alsace!

This Week’s Food Rescue

This last week La Soupe rescued 7900 ears of corn, 4 pallets of powerade, and 1000 pounds of food in 2 restaurants that were closed overnight for lack of rent payment!….in addition to our normal runs. Next week we have 10 days of rescue at the ATP as we attempt to make it a zero waste event.

 

Chef Suzy de Young

La Soupe, Cincinnati, Ohio
A Community Plates Partner Site

An Update from Community Plates New Haven

 

Welcome New Food Donors

A great big welcome and THANK YOU to our newest New Haven food donors:

G Cafe Bakery, Ninth Square

Katalina’s Bakery

Upcoming Events

City Line Distributors Food Rescue: Tuesday- 10:30 am and 11:30 am Big food rescue from City Line Distributors West Haven!
18 pallets of food to be sent out to many partners. We need 16 food runners to meet and deliver food. Please register for the run, which is divided into two shifts, on the schedule.

New Food Runner Orientation: Thursday- 11:00 am United House of Prayer 500 Dixwell Ave. New Haven. Lots of free parking! We are creating a New Haven food rescue team to increase our impact in the New Haven area. This is an orientation for new folks, and an opportunity for food runners to meet. We will share rescue stories and tips. If you are interested in getting more involved- one possibility is to join our team for outreach, social media or events. Come to our meet and greet (and eat)!

If you live in Connecticut, please follow Community Plates New Haven on Facebook for the latest news and events from the New Haven area.

If you have any questions, or are interested in becoming a New Haven volunteer or donor, contact us.

Getting to Know: Community Plates in Hartford, CT

Facts & Figures

  • Year Founded: 2015

  • Meals Rescued: 97,200

  • Food Runners 67

  • Food Donors: 25


Meet MACC Charities, Our Community Plates Partner in Hartford, CT

12095159_10206338734842295_4519900364476945679_o

Meaghan Sprague, MACC Charities at Unity Farm Machester

Since we signed on with Community Plates in October, the food rescue program has done wonders for the MACC Charities Food Pantry and Soup Kitchen. Our goal when we started was to offer our clients healthier wholesome options, and in just a few short months we were able to accomplish that goal. Our pantry shelves are full of fresh produce, bread, baked items, small milks, and yogurts.

Not only has our “Food Rescue” program improved the quality of food that we are able to offer our clients but it also has saved MACC a lot of money. Because of our daily donations of different meats and proteins our organization has not had to order meat since November. On several occasions we have not had to order milk for the week because one of our community partners donates half gallons of milk.

This program is quick, easy, and makes a huge difference in the lives of the people we serve!

– Meaghan Sprague, Community Engagement Manager, MACC Charities


About MACC Charities

Part of the core mission at MACC Charities is to feed those who are hungry and provide healthy food to those facing food insecurity. They do this through “Kitchen On Main” lunch program, Community Pantry, mobile & satellite pantries, and outreach to local elementary school children, families and the homeless in our community.

“Food Rescue” is the process by which MACC is able to do much of their work. Leveraging technology that allows 24/7 communication, volunteers transport excess, usable food from local restaurants, retailers and farmers to MACC on a daily basis. The food that we “rescue” gets distributed in our pantries, Grab n Go program, and used creatively in our kitchen.

Visit http://macc-ct.org/.


 

Meet A Few Hartford Area Food Donors

Shady Glen, Manchester, CT (our newest food donor, welcome!

Unity Farm, Manchester, CT

Whole Foods in Glastonbury, CT 

Villa Louisa in Bolton, CT 

Big Fish Pro 

Shop Rite Manchester