Community Plates Columbus Party to Benefit Community Plates at Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant on April 21


On April 21 from 5:30pm-8:30pm, Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant (401 N. Front Street), will host a Keg Tapping Party to benefit Community Plates. There is no charge for admission, but please register for the event. 10% of all proceeds will go to Community Plates Columbus and of course we will be accepting donations, so bring your friends and family!

Reserve Tickets

There will be live music by the band Stone Soup, passed appetizers and a ceremonial keg tapping at 6:30 pm. The featured seasonal beer is the strong, German lager Maibock, traditionally considered an annual rite of spring. Gordon Biersch partners with non-profits for their tapping parties because they believe it is important to give back to the community and we couldn’t be more grateful to be their partner this time around!

We have some amazing gift baskets for auction, including pizza for a year from Donato’s, a North Market basket with packages from Hot Chicken Takeover, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams, Shadow Box Live table for eight, a private craft cocktail class for ten at Curio, and much more. Many local restaurants and bakeries have donated $50-$100 gift cards and Community Plates will have t-shirts for sale, along with a 50/50 raffle.

This will be a great opportunity to meet fellow food runners, especially some of the 160 new runners who signed up this month! I hope too see all of you there.

Food Runner Profile: Richard & Jane Thompson

Location: Manchester, Connecticut

Partner Organization: Manchester Area Conference of Churches (MACC)

unnamed (3)Richard and Jane Thompson have been volunteering with MACC for the past 12 years. They started volunteering occasionally with their church, South United Methodist in Manchester, but once they heard about MACC’s food rescue program, they knew they had to make it a regular thing.

“We hate seeing food go to waste where there are people in need.” Jane says. “We like being Food Runners because its a really quick, and easy way to help the community and it still allows us to interact with a variety of MACC volunteers and clients.”

The couple has been picking up donations of produce, frozen food, caned goods, prepared meals, and dairy for the past 10 years from Whole Foods Market in Glastonbury CT. “It’s the high point of our week,” says Jane. “We make a whole morning of it; we stop and get our coffee along the way and then head to MACC where we are greeted by the kids from Coventry High School.” Richard and Jane enjoy bringing in all the donations, sorting through the items and helping the kids stock the shelves.

“Food rescue is so much fun because it’s like searching for gold; you never know what great treasures your going to find.” Richard states.

This was reprinted with permissoins from MACC. For more information on MACC or to become a food runner in the Manchester, CT area, visit:

Food Runner Profile: Tracy Elzy, Columbus

On behalf of Hunger Action Month, we are profiling some of the wonderful people who make Community Plates work — our volunteer food runners!

Tracy Elzy, Columbus

Hometown: Detroit, MI
Currently: Graduate student in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Community Plates (Columbus, Ohio) Food Runner

11046715_930408586993417_1915230481599144403_oWhy did you become a volunteer food runner for Community Plates?

The reason that I became a volunteer food runner for Community Plates is that having enough to eat is such a basic and important need for all people. A large part of my spiritual practice includes community service, specifically, ensuring that people have enough food. Through volunteering with Community Plates, I can be a part of the change that I wish to see in the world in a very real and tangible way. I also enjoy getting to know the clients we serve, as well as the hardworking folks at our partner agencies. Also, the realization that I am actually saving good food that would otherwise have been thrown out, appeals to my concern for our planet and its resources.

Photo: The attached photo is of myself and the Bishop from St. Sophia Cathedral during one of my many drop-offs from Fox in the Snow bakery this summer.

Food Runner Profile: Julia Gallagher, New Orleans

On behalf of Hunger Action Month, we are profiling some of the wonderful people who make Community Plates work — our volunteer food runners!


Julia Gallagher, New Orleans

IMG_4967Hometown: Philadelphia, PA
Currently: Student at Tulane University and Community Plates New Orleans Food Runner

Why did you become a volunteer food runner for Community Plates?

Before I even saw it on the website, when I heard about Community Plates I joined because it just makes sense! I cringe when I contribute to food waste on a personal level, so to think by becoming a food runner I could have an impact on a macro level was amazing. Especially as a student this is the PERFECT volunteer opportunity because you don’t always know what your week is going to look like but you do often have pockets of free time during the day. Also it is an incredible way to be more intimately connected to your community.


If you are interested in becoming a food runner for Community Plates, you can sign up to access our Community Plates app and connect with food runs in your area.

Connecting Columbus Farmers’ Markets with Community Plates Food Runners

Our Columbus, Ohio site has a terrific new collaboration with vendors from both the Clintonville Farmers’ Market and Worthington Farmers’ Market. A great model for other farmers’ markets across the country. Sign up to become a food runner or donor, today!

Our first Worthington Farmers Market run was a huge success! If you’ve never been there, you are missing out. There is a wide variety of offerings and everyone we talked to was very excited about what Community Plates is doing… all the vendors can bring all donations to the information booth when the market closes. Our first week, which was two weeks ago, we picked up 142 pounds of produce! There was sweet corn, squash, kale, swiss chard, green peppers, tomatoes, basil, peaches and blackberries.

The Clintonville Farmer’s Market is also a great run. Last year we only picked up from Rock Dove Farms, but have expanded that run to many others. Both the Clintonville and Worthington market runs are Sat. at noon. Sign up if you are available!

The North Market still has Friday and Sunday runs available. These are my favorite runs. Sundays we pick up from Hot Chicken Takeover, a few weeks ago we hit the food donation jackpot with 20+ tins! There is a new vendor called The Little Market who will be donating when able. These are bigger runs but still usually will easily fit in your car.

The Test of our Progress

A note from Tom Hauser, Fairfield County Site Director:

We hopefully all had a wonderful Fourth of July and spent some time thinking about all the things that make our country great. It’s also a good time to look beyond our successes and also see our challenges and opportunities … and to think about how we should measure our greatness. The familiar quote from FDR puts our work at Community Plates in this important context:



Why Close Your Food Run?

Hello Community Plates!

Next to an actual food run, closing your run in GoRescue, may be the most important thing you can do in your own fight against hunger. “Why?” you ask? Let me share with you a few of the very good reasons this makes sense.

The valuable information you provide allows your fellow runners to assess a run like you do: is my car big enough? How much food did I actually pick up? Do I know exactly where to go? Who do I talk to? How long does it actually take? Etc.

Your numbers help us provide tax credit for donors, help our partners show impact on their communities and their budgets, and by quantifying the amount of food that we transfer we can provide solid measurement of Community Plates’ impact to funders.

Your input helps site directors determine if we are properly addressing the needs of the community and where we can improve. Are we picking up the right type and quality of food? The right quantity? Etc.

Who knew such a seemingly small thing could be such a big deal?

Thanks for all you do!

Melissa Spiesman
National Site Director