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.

 

Happy 2017 Food Rescue Community!

Best wishes for a fresh and healthy 2017!

Thank you to the 300 restaurants, grocers, and farmers markets; 120 shelters, soup kitchens, and food pantries; and to our volunteers and 10 national sites that make up this wonderful and growing food rescue community.

We look forward to our most impactful year with you yet!

Happy Holidays From Our Family to Yours

Friends,

Kevin_webIt’s kind of mind-boggling what all of you accomplished this year. Now that we’re tallying up this year’s food rescue effort, it adds up to more than 5 million meals rescued and delivered to people who need access to fresh food in the US. 5 MILLION MEALS! And I’m saying you did this because if you rescued, donated, or distributed food through Community Plates this year, you made it happen. Those of you who were able to support us financially also played an invaluable part in this 2016 success. So to all of the individual “you’s”…thank you for your passion, compassion and generosity.

In 2017 our vision is to be everywhere you are. To some degree, we always have been but stay tuned for some news early in the new year that will make it clear where we are going together (spoiler alert: it’s everywhere.)

On behalf of everyone at Community Plates, our best wishes for the Warmest and Happiest Holiday Season.

Food For All,

Kevin

Kevin Mullins
Co-founder/Executive Director, Community Plates

Meet the Team: Nicole Straight, Fairfield County Site Director

 

Hometown/Current City:
Los Gatos, CA/ Westport, CT

What is your role at Community Plates?
Fairfield County Site Director.

What’s on your desk?
I don’t use a desk, I do everything on mobile so I can work anywhere.  I’m sitting on the couch at the moment!

What do you like to do in your free time?
I’m an avid poker player and have been playing for the past 10 years. I love to listen to Neil deGrasse Tyson’s Star Talk podcasts among many others. I’m also a self proclaimed music nerd and dream of dj’ing, but I get too tired after 10:00 pm…

How/when did you first become inspired around issues of American food insecurity?
I’ve worked in the food industry for the past 15 years, and have always been shocked at how much food gets thrown away while prepping.  It’s always been a source of frustration that chefs didn’t creatively repurpose the scraps, it would feed so many hungry people.

Who or what inspires you most?
I have been practicing Buddhism for the past 13 years, and am always inspired by the wisdom and gentleness of Sharon Salzberg and Pema Chodron.

If there is one thing you recommend we could do to end hunger our communities, what would it be?
Slow down.  We are all so consumed with our own “busyness” that we forget to slow down and notice people.  You’d be surprised how taking just a little time to give a little service can help so many people.  It also feels really good.  We don’t have to do these big global things to help,  choosing to take one small action of giving service, really does make a very big difference.

Our Annual Appeal- End Hunger This Holiday Season

Hunger in the U.S. doesn’t make sense. Community Plates is proudly leading the American food rescue movement – let’s work together to end food insecurity in 2017.

Our mission works. We’re innovative, cost-effective, and replicable. And we believe in the power of people to change our communities for the better. By supporting Community Plates today, you will make a difference!

Donate Today

Community Plates Builds D.C.’s First Food Rescue Network

How exactly does a new Community Plates site get started? Food rescue volunteer and head of D.C. Food Recovery Working Group, Josh Singer, shares how he became involved with Community Plates and the newest location in our nation’s capital. This post was originally featured on https://dcfoodrecovery.wordpress.com/

If you’d like to support the D.C. site launch and food rescue in our nation’s capital, please visit our campaign page.


40% of all food produced in the US ends up in the dump and close to 20% of all families in DC feel some form of food insecurity. This is why organizations in DC and all over the country are working to recover the food before it gets to the dump and direct it to people who need it the most.

But one major barrier to food recovery is transportation. How do you get the extra food from a restaurant to a food pantry when neither organization has the capacity to transport the food? One solution to this dilemma is a food runner program.

Exactly 1 year ago a small group of people working at different food recovery organizations in DC decided to form the DC Food Recovery Working Group in order to promote food recovery programs and organizations happening in DC and develop new city-wide food recovery programs. To decide what to focus on we brainstormed all the barriers to donating food and there was one barrier that kept coming up in every scenario…transportation.

The working group decided to reach out to food runner organizations to see if anyone was interested in starting DC’s first food runner program. A food runner program is usually an app or website that coordinates volunteers to help transport extra food to food pantries, removing the transportation barrier. We eventually found the non-profit Community Plates that was already interested in DC for their next food runner site.cp-food-run-js-21

The working group partnered with Community Plates to build a network of places in DC that have extra food (restaurants, farmers markets, schools, caterers, etc.), food pantries that need food, and volunteers to help transport the food. In September, Community Plates did a soft launch in DC and immediately started to recover food.

I signed up for the program by downloading an app (or you sign up on the website http://foodrescue.us/getinvolved/ if you don’t like apps) that showed me a variety of places in DC that have extra food, what time the pickups are, and where to take the food for donation. As someone who is not app savvy I found it incredibly easy. I was able to search for the right pickup that was most convenient for me by location and time and I signed up for a pickup.

My pickup was at the 6th and I Synagogue on a Saturday at 1pm. Super convenient for me. I was also sent detailed instructions to a food pantry 10 minutes away to drop it off. I rescued enough food to easily feed 50 people and it took me less that 30 minutes.

If you’re looking for a way to make a huge difference at your convenience without much effort or inconvenience, check out DC’s First Food Runner Program Community Plates.

If you would like to be a Community Plates food rescuer in DC you can sign up here: https://app.foodrescue.us/register or contact the DC Site Director, Kate Urbank at kate@foodrescue.us for more information.

Check out all the food I recovered!!!!

 

 

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.