1 in 5 – A Number To Look Square In The Face

US Map

My son and I had a deep “driving home from school” type conversation yesterday about what percentages should be recognized as noteworthy.  I think we started  our talk based on hearing a BBC report on the percentage of new cases of cancers reported close to the Fukushima nuclear reactor, following the tsunami related disaster there in 2011.  The numbers were very low in that case but as my son pointed out, if you’re the one affected or the family of someone who was, these percentages  mean nothing to you.

These kinds of conversations do matter to us though, which is why I was blown away by a recent map I saw (distributed by Upworthy) which showed the “numbers” on Americans who struggle to eat.  Once I get past my ongoing shock from the reality of “Americans who struggle to eat” (and it’s no less shocking to me today after spending four years looking at similar reports)  there was one number that emerged that Community Plates will spend the next ten years or so facing every day.

In addition to that big number there were a couple of  little number tidbits that were interesting.  You’re most likely, for instance, to struggle to eat well if you live in Mississippi and least  likely to do so if you live in Vermont.  But of course my son’s words still ring true here;  if your child is hungry,  you don’t care if she’s 1 out of 4 or 1 out of 10.

But here’s the number.  Life as it is right now in the United States.  This number is not a call for future alarm but our current reality.

If you live in the United States you now have a 1 in 5 chance of being unable to provide the food that you and your family need to eat healthily.  That’s 1 in 5.   Everyone can do that math.  In a representative U.S. town of 100 people, 20 of them are food insecure.

This is a number we have to look square in the face every day until it is no longer the case.  Community Plates promises to do that.  Every day.

Join us.

 

Community Plates Deploys Award-Winning, Game-Changing GoRescue App for “Social Volunteering”

Next-generation App allows volunteers to easily transfer millions of meals to the hungry

December 11, 2013 (Norwalk, CT)Community Plates today announced the rollout of its next-generation GoRescue App which is designed to streamline and enhance the nonprofit’s food rescue process. The volunteer-driven, technology-fueled Community Plates rescues surplus food and transfers it directly to receiving agencies to feed the food-insecure. GoRescue, at the edge of the emerging “social good” technology movement, lets food runners access the organization’s “self-serve volunteer management system” via mobile phone or the Web. With the App, volunteers sign-up for food runs on the spot or in advance, access details about the run, and participate in a community of social volunteers.

Creating a shared-experience among volunteers
The most significant new capability of Community Plates’ new GoRescue technology is a social feature that provides volunteers with a greater sense of community and support. “Community Plates offers unmatched flexibility and autonomy for our volunteers since they can sign-up for food runs at times and locations that fit their schedules,” said Kevin Mullins, executive director of Community Plates. “GoRescue allows volunteers to ‘bring’ the Community Plates community along during their individual food runs for a more rewarding experience.” More specifically, GoRescue keeps Community Plate volunteers engaged by enabling them to chat about food runs, share ideas about new opportunities to help the food-insecure, and most importantly, swap inspirational success stories about the people they help.

GoRescue is initially being deployed in Community Plates’ Connecticut markets, including Fairfield and New Haven counties. In early-2014 it will become available in Albuquerque, NM and Columbus, OH.

While in earlier stages, the core GoRescue technology was awarded the 2013 ComputerWorld Honors Program 21st Century Achievement Award in Human Services. The annual awards program pays tribute to organizations that use information technology to promote and advance the public welfare, and benefit society and business. Community Plates received the top honor in the Human Services category from among 29 Laureates that were selected from an original 750 applicants to the Program. GoRescue is powered by WhenToManage, an innovator of cloud-based software for the restaurant, hospitality and retail industries.

“The beauty of the Community Plates’ technology and volunteer-driven model is that it is extremely scalable and sustainable which is vital to achieving our goal of eliminating food insecurity in the U.S.,” continued Mullins. “As the organization grows, the simplicity of GoRescue will continue making volunteers more efficient. This is critical to enabling Community Plates to achieve this year’s goal of rescuing three-million meals, and significantly more year-after-year.”

Community Plates and WhenToManage will work together to expand GoRescue’s features, including automated alerts to and from volunteers, badges in recognition of each volunteer’s invaluable commitment, and more. In addition, the data available from the new technology will continually be mined, allowing Community Plates to assume a leadership role in measuring and understanding food insecurity in the U.S.

About food insecurity in America
There are an estimated 50 million food-insecure individuals in America, of which 1 in 5 are children under 5 years (according to the USDA). The traditional food rescue model has high overhead and fresh food waste caused by additional levels of infrastructure and food handling via fleets of trucks, drivers and warehousing. Utilizing the cloud-based “Go Rescue” App and volunteer model, Community Plates eliminates much of the overhead of the traditional food rescue process, while delivering fresher (and thereby healthier) food directly to the hungry.

About Community Plates
Community Plates is committed to ending food insecurity in America. Recognizing the problem as a matter of logistics, not a lack of food, the organization established a volunteer-driven, technology-fueled method for transferring surplus food to those in need. The simple process involves food donors (grocery stores, restaurants, caterers, bakeries and other food-service establishments), food runners (individuals who pick-up and deliver donated food) and receiving agencies (soup kitchens, pantries, etc.). Connecting the donated food, volunteer transfer, and receiving agency in a timely and seamless fashion is made easy with Community Plates’ GoRescue technology. Since Community Plates was founded in 2011, more than 700 volunteers have rescued food that equates to two-million meals. Launched and headquartered in Fairfield County, CT, Community Plates also operates in New Haven, CT, Albuquerque, NM and Columbus, OH with plans to expand to four more markets in 2014. For more information or to get involved visit: foodrescueus.wpengine.com

Seeking the Key Member of the Fairfield County Food Rescue Team

By now you probably know what we’re about but just in case you don’t, we’re all about ending American food insecurity through direct transfer food rescue.  We just entered the 2013-2014 food rescue season where we have our sights set on rescuing 3,000,000 meals for hungry Americans.  (You can see more about that here)

We have a small but potent team but as you can see our vision for addressing this problem without a good reason for being is anything but small.  Our core team is made up of passionate, energetic people who are consumed  with delivering as much good food to those in need as possible.  Our team values simplicity, community, gratitude, creativity and “saying yes.”

If this sounds like you and you’d like to be a part of the food rescue revolution at a very integral level, Community Plates is for you. Join us and be ready to share what you’ve learned, what you do best and who you are and then get ready to make a huge difference for your neighbors and people all over the country.

Position

We are seeking a leader passionate about positive change to direct Fairfield County, our flagship site. The requirements are simple; ability to build and motivate a team, strong computer skills and strong organizational skills for managing all the moving parts of direct transfer food rescue in Fairfield County.  This position is about commitment to rapid growth focused on 100,000 plus individuals in this county who can’t provide for themselves the food they or their families need to live healthily.

The function of the National team is to administratively support our site directors in their food rescue mission, so when considering if you’re right for this opportunity think less about filling out stacks of paperwork and more about passionately motivating a movement.

Position Benefits

·       Ground floor access and voice to a game changing, innovative food justice platform.

·       Ability to work directly with Community Plate’s core team including our National Site Director and Executive Director.

·       Opportunity to see direct impact on underserved peoples.

·       Monthly cash stipend.

Responsibilities

• Build and manage Fairfield County’s direct transfer food rescue team.
• Set and meet growth goals related to annual “meals rescued” goals.
• Identify potential donors (both in-kind and financial) for followup.
• Public speaking a plus but not required.
• Work with National Site Director to develop GoRescue food rescue application.

Qualifications

•       Interest in non-profit organizations, passion for the cause and a desire to learn about and support Community Plate’s mission.
•       Excellent interpersonal, oral and written communication skills.
•       Knowledge of: Microsoft Office, Google Apps, Twitter, Facebook
•       Ability to manage time, balance multiple tasks, and meet deadlines
•       Familiarity and previous Community Plates experience a plus

Compensation & Time

We are looking to fill this position as soon as possible

·       Compensation:  Monthly cash stipend

·       Time:  10-15 hours per week, schedule can be determined based on availability all hours can be completed remotely.

·       Location: Wherever you can be doing the most good

·       Application Deadline: November 7, 2013; Will review applications on a rolling basis

How to Apply: To apply, send cover letter and resume to opportunities@communityplates.org. Please include “Fairfield County Site Director” in the subject line.

Looking For An Awesome Part Time Office Adminstator

By now you probably know what we’re about but just in case you don’t, we’re all about ending American food insecurity through direct transfer food rescue.  We just entered the 2013-2014 food rescue season where we have our sights set on rescuing 3,000,000 meals for hungry Americans.  (You can see more about that here)

We have a small but potent team but as you can see our vision for addressing this problem without a good reason for being is anything but small.  Our core team is made up of passionate, energetic people who are consumed  with delivering as much good food to those in need as possible.  Our team values simplicity, community, gratitude, creativity and “saying yes.”

If this sounds like you and you’d like to be a part of the food rescue revolution at a very integral level, Community Plates is for you.  Join us and be ready to share what you’ve learned, what you do best and who you are and then get ready to make a huge difference for your neighbors and people all over the country.

Position

Community Plates is seeking a part time office administrator to work in our Norwalk office (our only office).  This position provides support for the Executive Director and four national sites and reports directly to the Executive Director.

Position Benefits

·       Ground floor access and voice to a game changing, innovative food justice platform.

·       Ability to work directly with Community Plate’s core team including our National Site Director and Executive Director.

·       Opportunity to see direct impact on underserved peoples.

Responsibilities

• Compose/edit correspondence.
• Schedule appointments and manage company’s schedule
• Answer the telephone with a pleasant and professional demeanor
• Manage incoming and outgoing mail and email
• Filing, faxing, copying, etc.
• Light bookkeeping.
• Data entry into and maintenance of award winning GoRescue food rescue application.
• CRM entry and maintenance.

Qualifications

•       Interest in non-profit organizations, passion for the cause and desire to learning about and supporting Community Plate’s mission.
•       Excellent writing, editing, and proofreading skills
•       Knowledge of: Microsoft Office, Google Apps, Twitter, Facebook
Knowledge of HTML, WordPress, Adobe Suites and database management systems a plus
•       Strong interpersonal, oral, and written communications skills
•       Detail oriented and solid personal organizational skills
•       Ability to manage time, balance multiple tasks, and meet deadlines

Compensation & Time

We are looking to fill this position as soon as possible

·       Compensation:  Currently a volunteer position.

·       Time:  10-15 hours per week, schedule can be determined based on availability, some hours can be completed remotely, some set office hours.

·       Location: Office location in Norwalk TBD

·       Application Deadline: November 7, 2013; Will review applications on a rolling basis

How to Apply: To apply, send cover letter and resume to opportunities@communityplates.org. Please include “Part Time Office Administrator” in the subject line.

Press Release: Community Plates Wins 2013 Computerworld Honors Program

 

 

 

For Immediate Release

Community Plates’ Go Rescue Technology, Powered by WhenToManage, Wins 2013 Computerworld Honors Program “21st Century Achievement Award”

Community Plates’ game-changing technology helps rescue millions of meals for food-insecure Americans

Norwalk, CT (June 6,  2013) –Community Plates is proud to announce that its Go Rescue technology, powered by WhenToManage, has been recognized with a 2013 Computerworld Honors Program 21st Century Achievement Award.  The annual awards program pays tribute to organizations that use information technology to promote and advance the public welfare, benefit society and business. Community Plates received the top honor in the Human Services category from among 29 Laureates.  Community Plates is a technology-fueled, volunteer-driven, nonprofit organization that rescues surplus food from supermarkets, grocers, and restaurants, and distributes it directly to local receiving agencies that serve individuals and families in need.  There are an estimated 50 million food-insecure individuals in America, of which 1 in 5 are children under 5 years (according to the USDA).

“We are very proud to have received the top honor in the Human Services category of the 2013 Computerworld Honors Program,” said Kevin Mullins, executive director and co-founder, Community Plates.  “We appreciate that IDG’s Computerworld recognizes the important role our disruptive technology is playing in helping to achieve our goal of ending food insecurity in America.”

Community Plates was launched in 2010 by WhenToManage.  As an innovator of cloud-based software for the restaurant, hospitality and retail industries, WhenToManage recognized the opportunity to streamline the food rescue process utilizing technology and so developed the Go Rescue App.  The traditional food rescue model relies on multi-layered infrastructure and excessive food handling via fleets of trucks, drivers and warehousing, which requires significant overhead and time, greatly limiting the ability to transfer perishable, fresh food.  Utilizing the Go Rescue App and volunteer food runners, Community Plates eliminates much of this overhead, while delivering fresher (and thereby healthier) food directly to those in need.

“Our award-winning Go Rescue App is playing a key role in enabling us to streamline the food rescue process,” said Jeff Schacher, CEO and founder, WhenToManage.  “We built Go Rescue on WhenToManage’s Peach platform which allows us to quickly develop and update applications to meet the specific needs of the industries we serve.  This environment also enables us to easily continue modifying Go Rescue to further enhance the food rescue process, and over time, meet other nonprofit’s needs.”

The Computerworld Honors Program Awards Ceremony was held on June 3, 2013 at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium in Washington, D.C.  At the event this year’s 267 Laureates were honored, with 5 finalists and one 21st Century Achievement Award presented in each of 11 categories.

About Community Plates

Launched and headquartered in Fairfield County, CT, Community Plates also operates in Albuquerque, NM and Columbus, OH, with plans to expand to a dozen additional markets by 2014.  More than 650 volunteers have transferred food equivalent to over a million meals to date, served to food-insecure individuals and families through food pantries, soup kitchens, and community centers.  For more information or to get involved visit:  http://communityplate.wpengine.com.

 

About WhenToManage

WhenToManage is comprised of a team of professionals with years of true restaurant operations experience from the top down, and a passion for creating software that they, in turn, would be excited to use. The result is a restaurant operating system that is more accessible, easier to use, and requires less training and support.  WhenToManage offers subscription-based solutions for POS intelligence, inventory management and employee scheduling, as well as customized deployments. For more information, please visit http://whentomanage.com.

 

High Schoolers Grow Fresh Produce and Collaborate With Community Plates

Here’s just another example of the different ways we are able to get more fresh food to those in need.

Wilton (CT) High School’s organic garden teaches kids about environmental science AND donates the produce grown to food insecure people in their community.

Check out the full article here and forward it on to someone you know who might like to do something similar.  We can’t wait to send our food runners for more fresh food!

http://www.townvibe.com/Wilton/May-June-2013/In-the-Dirt/

 

Community Plates To Hire Technology and Research Fellow

(for immediate release)

Technology and Research Fellowship
(Fairfield County, CT/NYC area)

About Community Plates:

Community Plates is committed to ending American food insecurity through direct transfer food rescue and has already rescued food equivalent to 1.2 million meals for the benefit of hungry Americans.   We are changing the face of food rescue with our ground-breaking technology, “GoRescue,” that makes it possible for us to deliver greater quantities and quality of fresh food than ever before.  Simply put, we pick up excess food from restaurants and grocers and deliver it directly to those who need it.  We are solving a hunger problem that doesn’t need to exist.

Position Summary:

Community Plates is seeking a student or recent graduate who is passionate about positive change and wants to play an active role in ending American food-insecurity.  This essential member of the Community Plates team will help leverage our proprietary technology and associated metrics to help shape the future of food rescue.  Our Fellow will delve into the day-to-day effectiveness of our three key streams: food donors, receiving agencies and volunteer food-runners with the goal of identifying opportunities for improvement and growth.  The Fellow will be responsible for maintaining our current web and app infrastructure and participating in its future development.

Essential Tasks, Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Analyze app-generated metrics to evaluate performance and identify specific opportunities for growth
  • Develop case study with strategic partners to measure impact
  • Research and present recommendations for ongoing development of proprietary technology
  • Keep company website current and relevant
  • Maintain existing CRM and proprietary app databases
  • Aid in development of turnkey best practices manual
  • Participate actively in weekly staff meetings

Qualifications:

  • Recent graduate, or currently pursuing graduate degree or in final year of undergraduate study (will consider other class levels)
  • Passion for social justice; interest in hunger-relief preferred
  • Strong quantitative analysis and interpretation skills
  • Web maintenance experience
  • Database management experience
  • Team-oriented and positive
  • Self-starter and self-motivated

Compensation and Time:

  • Employment of one year with target start date of June 1, 2013
  • 20 hours per week (some hours can be completed remotely)
  • Hourly pay rate

To apply, send resume with cover letter to fellowships@communityplates.org

 

Community Plates To Hire Marketing and Development Fellow

(for immediate release)

Marketing and Development Fellowship
(Fairfield County, CT/NYC area)


About Community Plates:

Community Plates is committed to ending American food insecurity through direct transfer food rescue and has already rescued food equivalent to 1.2 million meals for the benefit of hungry Americans. We are changing the face of food rescue with our ground-breaking technology, “GoRescue,” that makes it possible for us to deliver greater quantities and quality of fresh food than ever before. Simply put, we pick up excess food from restaurants and grocers and deliver it directly to those who need it.  We are solving a hunger problem in the United States that doesn’t need to exist.

Position Summary:

Community Plates is seeking a student or recent graduate who is passionate about positive change and wants to play an active role in ending American food-insecurity.  This essential member of the Community Plates team will help us tell the story of American food-insecurity and the promise of direct transfer food rescue. Our Fellow will be instrumental in the development of a comprehensive marketing and story-telling strategy. The Fellow will be responsible for our current web and app content and the development and maintenance of our ongoing social media activity and campaigns.

Essential Tasks, Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Craft a holistic, national marketing plan and site-specific plans (similar to a franchise model.)
  • Develop web presence and associated social media presence.
  • Research key initiatives for potential partners and connections.
  • Aid in development of turnkey best practices manual
  • Participate actively in weekly staff meetings

Qualifications:

  • Recent graduate, or currently pursuing graduate degree or in final year of undergraduate study (will consider other class levels)
  • Passion for social justice; interest in hunger-relief preferred
  • Strong quantitative analysis and interpretation skills
  • Marketing experience and related education
  • Ability to merge for-profit business acumen with non-profit ideas
  • Team-oriented and positive
  • Self-starter and self-motivated

Compensation and Time:

  • Employment of one year with target start date of June 1, 2013
  • 20 hours per week (some hours can be completed remotely)
  • Hourly pay rate

To apply, send resume with cover letter to fellowships@communityplates.org

Community Plates Welcomes Kala Cuerington As New Haven Site Director

The food rescue revolution is officially underway in New Haven now that we can officially announce Kala Cuerington is leading the charge there!

Kala Cuerington is a people person with a passion for food, social awareness, creativity and equality.  She’s worked for the food bank of NYC, in farmers markets, speciality grocery stories and in numerous school districts in California and Connecticut teaching nutrition and cooking education. She’s chairs a working group for the New Haven Food Policy Council and works closely with NHPS school food.

Kala’s all about food justice and we think will be a great team leader for directing all of the food that’s going to be rescued there for the benefit of so many who are in need.

If you’re in the New Haven area (or just want to be a part of what’s about to happen) and you’re ready to get started, give Kala a call at 800-280-3298 extension 7 or reach out at kcuerington@communityplates.org.

New Haven (CT) Site Launch Press Release

 

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Alison Sherman
800-280-3298 x2
asherman@communityplates.org

CONNECTICUT BASED COMMUNITY PLATES LAUNCHES IN NEW HAVEN
ESTABLISHED FOOD RESCUE ORGANIZATION APPOINTS SITE DIRECTOR

Group anticipates rescuing meals for New Haven’s food insecure by month’s end
Community Plates has rescued more than a million meals utilizing technology-fueled, volunteer driven, direct-transfer model

 

April 10, 2013 (Fairfield County, CT) –  Community Plates, the Connecticut based food rescue organization, has announced their launch, and appointment of a Site Director, in New Haven, CT.  This marks the opening of the fourth location, nationwide, for the innovative hunger relief group and they expect to begin rescuing food by month’s end.  Albuquerque, NM, Columbus, OH and Fairfield, CT are already community based sites in the fight against food insecurity in the United States where Community Plates is leading the charge.  The organization’s proprietary, groundbreaking technology, the GoRescue App, has allowed them to rescue over one million meals in under two years, all of it directly transferred by over 300 volunteer drivers nationwide, for immediate use, to over 40 receiving agencies.

Kala Cuerington, the new Site Director, comes to Community Plates with extensive experience in the New Haven nutrition and education fields: she is a service member with Food Corps, works with Common Ground’s School Resource Center and is Chair of the Hew Haven Food Policy Council’s School Food Working Group.  On joining Community Plates, Ms. Cuerington recently stated, “I look forward to leading the Community Plates team in New Haven, focused on getting healthy food to those who need it, in an innovative way.”

When asked why New Haven was chosen as the new site, in light of the many inquiries Community Plates has had from locations across the country, Executive Director Kevin Mullins replied, “We selected New Haven as our next launch site due to the high incidence of food insecurity and proximity to our headquarters in Fairfield County, but those were not the only reasons.  We are about communities helping their own communities, and New Haven has a rich tradition in grass roots organizations which is critical in this first phase as we sign up volunteer food runners, food donors and receiving agencies.  We just knew this was the right place.”

Founded in January 2011, Community Plates is committed to ending American food-insecurity through direct-transfer food rescue. Established as a 501(c)3 non-profit food-rescue platform, Community Plates is focused on transferring healthy, usable foods to where it can help 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 who serve food-insecure individuals and families.