As important participants in the work of Food Rescue US, I want to thank you for your commitment to helping to end hunger and food waste. Together we are making a real difference in the lives of hundreds of thousands of people in need while protecting our environment.
During this time of great concern for the impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), your personal safety is of utmost importance to us. We encourage you to follow the CDC guidelines to protect yourself, which can be viewed directly here.
During this time of uncertainty, the need to get food to the food insecure increases and in many cases dramatically. As some organizations that feed people in need close their doors, where will these people find food? As schools that feed children two and sometimes three meals a day close for an undetermined length of time, where will these children be fed? As many employers are cutting back or closing, many employees are uncertain of their ability to earn their wages, how will they afford to buy food?
One of our social service agencies said it best:
“The ripple effect of this virus is vast. Sadly, our clients are going to be some of the hardest hit financially and in so many other ways. No work means no pay. No school means no free breakfast and lunch for the children. The family food budget will then be busted meaning families go hungry. There will be no donations of food to us and empty food pantry shelves. No school and no computer at home means no distance learning for those who are already left behind.”
Our work is critically important, now more than ever. Whatever you can do to help us continue the delivery of food to the food insecure is greatly appreciated during this time of urgent need. Also, your site director will stay in touch with you if there are changes to the food rescue schedule in your community.
The Kansas City Chiefs may have won Super Bowl LIV, but Miami residents struggling with food insecurity have turned out to be the big winners. With the help of partners NFL Green and Centerplate, it is estimated that Food Rescue US – Miami rescued 35,000 pounds of excess food from Super Bowl LIV and related events
37 volunteers, under the guidance of Food Rescue US – Miami Site Director Ellen Bowen, directly transferred the excess food to local social service agencies feeding the food insecure, including Miami Rescue Mission, Broward Outreach Center, Broward Partnership for the Homeless, Lotus House Shelter, and Camillus House.
“Being able to deliver this food, including ribs, beef tenderloins, barbecue chicken, vegetables, fruits, and even some specialty desserts, to men, women, and children who are hungry provides sustenance and hope for a better tomorrow.” – Ellen Bowen, Site Director, Food Rescue US – Miami
Food Rescue US’s efforts and impact during Super Bowl LIV were profiled in local and national publications all over the Country. See below for links to some of the recent news stories below:
ABC News correspondent Karen Travers created a fantastic piece on the work of our volunteers and community partners in DC. Karen met with a food donor, a rescuer, and a receiving agency to learn how and why they use the Food Rescue US app. She also caught up with Kate Urbank, our DC location leader.
Organized by our friends at b.good restaurant Fairfield, legends from the NBC show American Ninja Warrior recently joined Food Rescue US on several food runs in an effort to combat childhood summer hunger.
Thank you Luis, Joe and Alyssa!
Molli and Steve Hourihan, the owners at b.good Fairfield restaurant have accepted the challenge and for the month of August kids will eat free, with the purchase of one adult meal. Join us at b.good on August 1st for Community Day, 5% of all proceeds will benefit Food Rescue US and you can see the premiere of the American Ninja Warrior video “Get in the Van” highlighting their day of food rescue.
“Because healthy, fresh food, is an important part of Ninja’s physical training, our Ninja customers like Allyssa and Joe are perfect advocates to help raise awareness about the availability of wasted healthy food to end childhood hunger. The ninjas will film a video of their food rescue that shows their fans first-hand what a simple solution Food Rescue US presents.” says Molli Hourihan, who along with her husband Steve, own b.good Fairfield.
“There’s nothing better than partners who respond creatively and passionately to the problems in their community and b.good Fairfield is exactly that kind of partner. Food Rescue US is so honored to be working with them to help provide for children in need over the summer. They’re an inspiration to us,” says Food Rescue US Executive Director, Kevin Mullins.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.”