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.
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)!
Meet MACC Charities, Our Community Plates Partner in Hartford, CT
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.
Fairfield County’s premier strolling culinary event featuring our area’s newest restaurants, caterers and markets. Cocktails shaken, stirred and straight up – presented by the region’s hottest mixologists. For sponsorship opportunities, visit foodrescueus.wpengine.com/ffa16ffld/. Tickets on sale now!
“The 30 minutes I spend doing a food run are more rewarding and fulfilling than the hours I spend at my 9-5 job.
– Sam Mauro, Community Plates Volunteer Food Runner in Fairfield County, CT
I volunteer try to to make a difference for the better in other people’s lives and to remind myself that we are all connected together. Bottom line: good intentions don’t change the world, people do.
– Kate Albrecht, Community Plates Site Director for Fairfield County
b.good has always wanted the communities we are in to be better because we are there. We think that connecting our customers to volunteer opportunities with Community Plates and providing a tangible means of addressing food insecurity in our community is a particularly impactful way of doing just that. We hope you’ll join us in signing up for a food run this March! Post a photo of your run with the hashtag #bgooddoesgood and we’ll send you a free b.good meal of your choice to thank you for your service.
– Allie Kroner, Community Development Director, b.good and Executive Director, b.good Family Foundation
I love rescuing food because I know that if my life circumstances had been a little bit different, I could have been the one in need.
– Kevin Mullins, Community Plates Executive Director
Fleishers and Craft Butchery (Westport, CT) joined forces in support of one mission: to produce better tasting meat that’s better for their customers, their farmers and the land they share.
Craft Butchery, founded in 2011 by former Fleishers apprentices Paul Nessel and Ryan Fibiger, has led the most recent charge of local butcher shops creating industry-wide change in the way that we produce and consume meat.
This northern Fairfield County location has been a great partner for Community Plates and pivotal in helping us make an impact in food insecurity in the greater Danbury area.
Meet Kate Albrecht, Community Plates Fairfield County Site Director
What is your role at Community Plates?
I was recently named the Fairfield County Site Director. I work with our donors and partner agencies to grow the organization, manage the schedule of food runs and support our incredible team of volunteers. It’s amazing the number of hours that so many volunteers put in every single week to make Community Plates work.
What do you like to do in your free time?
I love cooking, especially baking bread. A few years ago I worked a 5am shift at a bakery so I could learn to make proper bread, and now I make bread at home once a week. I read a lot, especially non-fiction. I am a bit of a news junkie. And I love exercise. I have been learning to row, which is really hard but also incredibly rewarding.
How did you first become inspired around issues of hunger and food insecurity?
When I learned about what Community Plates was doing — taking advantage of a free resource to get healthy food to those who need it most — I was really motivated to get involved. When you consider how much food is thrown away in our country, it really hits home that hunger in the US, and in Fairfield County, makes no sense.
Can you share a memorable moment from one of your food runs?
I love taking my children on food runs. They love seeing the back of a grocery store (so do I, truth told), but they are also amazed by the amount of food that we collect and the number of people we can help feed. They take the work really seriously and have a lot of pride about their involvement.
The Obama administration will announce new plans Wednesday to launch a pilot program aimed at increasing poor children’s access to food through the National School Lunch Program.
The pilot program will allow participating states to use Medicaid data to automatically certify students for free and reduced-price school lunches. Currently, families have to submit an application — a laborious process for parents and a costly one for schools — even when they have already proven that they are income-eligible through their participation in other government assistance programs.
As the Ambassador of the Republic of the Sudan to Italy and Permanent Representative of the Republic of the Sudan to the UN Food and Agriculture organizations in Rome, Amira Daoud Hassan Gornass, takes-up her role as Chair of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS), she shares her vision for the future of food security.
Every fall, farmers in Washington throw away a sizable portion of the apples they grow. In 2015, thanks to the West Coast port slowdown and a lack of refrigeration, farmers in the state dumped an estimated $100 million worth of the fruit (or 143,000 bushels) in fields where they were left to rot, causing the nearby town to smell like rancid fruit for days.
Williams decided to give it a go anyway, launching Field Goods four years ago. Her subscription-based service, located in Athens, operates like a CSA on steroids, connecting 80 farms to 3,000 customers. By taking on the role of intermediary—determining which products to include, drumming up demand, and delivering the goods to locations in New York and Connecticut—she relieves farmers of the burden of marketing and prods consumers to make better choices, without leaving a big carbon footprint.
Meet our Community Plates partners. These organizations, companies, restaurants and markets are part of our community dedicated to helping eliminate hunger in the U.S.
Community Plates recently announced a partnership with La Soupe in Cincinnati, Ohio to grow our food rescue community and collaborate with La Soupe to reach the food insecure in this city using our technology.
La Soupe is growing! We have made incredible impact on hunger in our community with a relatively small number of partnerships with local grocers and growers. But if we can salvage ten times more food, we can feed ten times more people. And we can.
We are now engaged with the Community Plates app that opens the way for explosive growth. It’s a volunteer’s dream, making the task of food rescue simple, efficient and rewarding. What if Cincinnati was known as the city that transformed the way our entire nation addresses hunger and food waste? – Suzy, La Soupe
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
About: Motivated by community and impassioned by food, La Soupe works boldly as a non-profit to find solutions for hunger in Cincinnati. Headed by chef Suzy DeYoung, their rotating menu features pot-friendly entrees, croque du jour, therapeutic broths, and seasonal specialties. These delicious, nutrient-dense meals are distributed to customers and the food-insecure alike. With their network of supporters, they rescue roughly 1,000 pounds of produce per week and have fed 45,000 children to date.
The Pick Me! initiative was inspired in part by the Food is Free Project in Austin, Texas, a nonprofit that creates wicking bed gardens with reclaimed materials, such as wooden pallets and political signs. The organization hosts weekly build events to line entire streets with low-maintenance beds. The gatherings double as free workshops where residents learn to set up their own gardens and use eco-friendly growing techniques.
Community Plates, the Connecticut-based food rescue organization, has some great news. Fairfield County Community Foundation awarded a $15,000 grant to Community Plates to support the expansion of the organization’s local food rescue efforts.
Approximately 26% of all fruits and vegetables are thrown away before they even reach grocery stores in the United States, leading to billions of pounds of waste each year. Perfectly edible, wonderfully nutritious apples, peaches, carrots and onions rot in our landfills — in a country where 1 in 6 people are considered food insecure and where more than 80% of us are not eating enough produce. Fully 25% of fresh water goes to food we don’t eat.
A Philadelphia grocery store chain tries to keep food waste out of landfills, feed the hungry, and make a little money.
Imagine making thousands of dollars a month for something you’re going to throw away. Oh yeah—and you’d be helping feed hungry people.
Sound good? According to a pilot project in West Philadelphia, it’s entirely possible for grocery stores. And the folks involved are hoping that when the pope visits the City of Brotherly Love next month, they can show the world a new way to deal with the global problem of food waste.
Jeff and I have just returned from the 2015 Farm to Table Conference in New Orleans where we had the privilege of hosting one of the breakout sessions in Food Innovation.
It was truly exciting to be surrounded by so many innovative, creative people passionate about making a difference in the food industry and even more importantly, doing it through the food industry. The opening plenary session was a great way to start in connecting us all to the importance of encouraging people to be in tactile contact with food and all of the important effects of that on our communities. This idea really resonated with us since, many food runners have reported feeling more deeply connected to their communities after rescuing food and delivering it to receiving agencies for distribution to food insecure families. For us it’s always been about “this food here” feeding “these people here” so this opening talk really supported what our experience has been.
I want to thank each and every one of you for fueling the food rescue revolution in your own communities; this weekend showed us that we are on the right track to ending hunger in this country, one community at a time.
Executive Director CommunityPlates
Photo: c/o Sunny Young @sunnyspeaksfood of Keynote Speaker Temple Grandin
The quality I admire most in people is passion. It’s always impressive to spend time with someone who is super smart, and I have a few ridiculously talented friends, and even a few who are awfully good looking and still let me hang out with them occasionally. But it’s the passionate ones I most want to emulate. As overused as the word is, we identified passion as a core value when we launched Community Plates four years ago. We had a sense even then that the only way we could move the needle on national hunger was if we could help motivate a movement of people with an intense, burning desire to make sure that no one in our country was hungry.
And it takes passion to be a Community Plates food runner. Passion drives our volunteers through the messiness of picking up fresh usable food, (yes it can be messy). It’s passion that puts people in their cars on their lunch hours and after they’ve worked all day to give 30 minutes to feed 30 people. It’s passion that pushes a new food runner to sign up for a second food run after the first one comes up empty (it happens sometimes) and when there’s so much food that the food donor asks you to come back for a second trip (yeah, that happens sometimes too).
Our food runners are what fuel Community Plates and it’s passion that fuels you. So, it’s your passion that fires our drive to end food insecurity for over 50 million Americans who find themselves in that place. For me, when my passion dips, it’s the food rescue itself that stirs it up again; signing up and completing a food rescue and realizing again how much of our food we are throwing away, how simple it can be to get the food where it can do the most good, and how many people who live in such close proximity to me are in need of that very same food.
If it’s been a while since you went on a food rescue, sign up right now and stir up your passion! Your community needs that fuel more than anything else and more than ever.