A Message from the CEO of Food Rescue US

Dear Food Rescue US Friends:

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.

Thank you,

Carol Shattuck, CEO

Food Rescue US Rescues 35,000 Pounds of Excess Food from Super Bowl LIV

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:

Food Rescue US Teams Up with Centerplate and NFL Green To Rescue Excess Food from Super Bowl LIV Events

Food rescued from Super Bowl LIV will be provided to food insecure individuals throughout Miami

Miami, FL, January 16, 2020 – With more than a million people expected to attend Super Bowl LIV at Hard Rock Stadium and its related events, national food recovery leader Food Rescue US is partnering with NFL Green and Centerplate, the exclusive food and beverage partner at Hard Rock Stadium and the Miami Beach Convention Center, to ensure surplus food from Super Bowl events is recovered and provided to food insecure individuals in the Miami area. Tens of thousands of pounds of food are expected to be rescued from these events to keep it from ending up in landfill where it creates methane gas that contributes to global warming.

“With the scale of an event like the Super Bowl, we always prepare plenty of food, and I’m pleased to continue our partnership with Food Rescue US – Miami to deliver any surplus to local social service agencies feeding the hungry in our community,” said Chef Dayanny de la Cruz, Executive Chef of Centerplate at Hard Rock Stadium. “Our Centerplate team is proud to give back to the communities we serve, and to ensure that the meals we create can also support those in need, thanks to the efforts of the volunteer food rescue teams.”

Over the past year, Food Rescue US – Miami has provided 250,000 meals and kept 300,000 pounds of food from landfill under the leadership of site director Ellen Bowen. Food rescued from Super Bowl LIV and related events will be delivered to Miami Rescue Mission, Broward Outreach Center, Broward Partnership for the Homeless, Lotus House Shelter, and Camillus House.

“We know food insecurity impacts one in seven people in the state of Florida,” said Carol Shattuck, CEO of Food Rescue US. “Through our work with Centerplate and NFL Green, we can make sure excess food from Hard Rock Stadium and the Miami Beach Convention Center helps to feed individuals and families throughout Miami, while also not contributing to the growing food waste crisis in the U.S.”

Started in 2011, Food Rescue US is currently rescuing in 25 locations throughout the U.S., including Miami and Broward counties. Using its proprietary app, food donors are connected with local social service agencies that feed the food insecure and volunteer food rescuers who directly transfer healthy, excess food from the food donor to social service agencies.

About Food Rescue US

Food Rescue US, a national nonprofit organization, is a leader in reducing both hunger and food waste in America by connecting the vast amount of healthy, fresh surplus food with the critical hunger demand. Through the use of its proprietary app, Food Rescue US provides the platform for volunteer food rescuers to directly transfer excess food from businesses to local social service agencies that feed the food insecure. By providing food that would otherwise be wasted and delivering it to the food insecure, Food Rescue US is keeping this wasted food from ending up in landfill where it decomposes, creating methane gas that warms the planet. Since 2011, Food Rescue US has helped launch food recovery communities in 25 locations across the country, providing 37 million meals and keeping 51 million pounds of food out of landfills. For more information or to download the app, visit foodrescue.us, find us on Facebook (facebook.com/FoodRescueUS), or follow us on Twitter (@foodrescueUS).

About Centerplate

Centerplate is a leader in live event hospitality, “Making It Better To Be There®” for more than 115 million guests each year at more than 200 prominent entertainment, sports and convention venues—including Hard Rock Stadium and the Miami Beach Convention Center. From hosting VIPs at the Super Bowl to super heroes at Comic Con, the company provides hospitality services to North America’s premier events. A Sodexo company, Centerplate creates unique, locally-inspired menus, best-in-class guest service, and one-of-a-kind experiences backed by world-class design and insights teams. Visit the company online at Centerplate.com, connect via Twitter @centerplate, Instagram @Centerplate_ or Facebook.com/centerplate.

About NFL Green

NFL Green, the NFL’s environmental program, has managed environmental-related Super Bowl projects for more than 25 years. These environmental projects are part of a larger program of community events and initiatives implemented each year by the NFL and Super Bowl Host Committee to leave a positive benefit in each Super Bowl host community. NFL Green is part of the NFL’s sustainability platform which works to create a positive, “green” legacy in host communities. These efforts include food recovery and distribution, recycling and solid waste management, recovery and donation of event and building materials, community greening projects, the use of “green energy” to power events, and the Super Kids-Super Sharing community project which puts books, sports equipment and school supplies into the hands of local children in need.

Greenwich Wine + Food Festival, Main Beneficiary Food Rescue US

Food Rescue US is proud to be this year’s main beneficiary of the Greenwich Wine + Food Festival, located at Roger Sherman Baldwin Park in Greenwich, CT. This multi-day event celebrates the area’s rich culinary landscape and showcasing innovation in the food and beverage industries with top culinary talent. Music performances at the Festival include: Little Big Town, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Kermit Ruffins & The Barbecue Swingers, and Rebirth Brass Band.  

Thank you to everyone!

Thank you to everyone who joined us and supported the first Pools, Patios, Pergolas event on Saturday in Westport, CT. It was a beautiful summer night, filled with delicious food and drinks, good music, and great friends in several spectacular outdoor settings. Special thanks to our event partner KMS Partners at Compass and the evening’s sponsors.

Join us for this new summer outdoor tasting event!

Pools, Patios, Pergolas – A Luxury Tasting Event, is an opportunity to view a selection of beautiful Westport properties showcasing their exquisite outdoor living spaces. Guests will be divided into three groups as they visit the properties featuring food and beverages from some of the area’s most popular, award-winning caterers, AMG, Festivities and Marcia Selden Catering & Events.

Each property will have its own theme/cuisine, plus great music and signature drinks.  Music playlists will be available for download so that guests can enjoy them throughout the summer season. The groups will convene at the final locale along the Saugatuck River with food from favorite local food trucks, Fryborg and Don Bronco Taquaria, and live music for a festive party.

Tickets are $125 per person. Proceeds benefit Food Rescue US – Fairfield County.

Ticket sales for this event is now closed.

Food Rescue US Hosts Annual Food for All Event on April 24, 6:30PM Benefit to End Food Insecurity and Food Waste

March 11, 2019 Norwalk, CT: Food Rescue US,  the direct-transfer food rescue organization dedicated to ending food insecurity and food waste in America, announced their annual signature fundraising event, Food for All, will take place on April 24th at the Loading Dock in Stamford, CT.  The event highlights the organization’s important work delivering more than 7 million meals a year to the food insecure and keeping more than 8 million pounds of food waste out of landfills.

Food for All has become one of Fairfield County’s most popular strolling, tasting events and this year features many fan favorites from past years and some of the hottest, new restaurants on the local dining scene. General Admission tickets are $150.   Click here for tickets:   foodrescue.us/foodforall

Food Rescue US is grateful for the generous sponsors of this year’s event: Northern Trust, Britton and Laurie Jones, Janice and Jim Bottiglieri, Elizabeth and Joseph Massoud Family Foundation, Alan & Fran Offenberg, Robert & Clare Kretzman, Jim Kirsch;  MAV Foundation, CTbites and media sponsor Serendipity.   We are also grateful for the restaurants and beverage companies that have donated their superb food and drinks for the event.

The Food Rescue US CEO Carol Shattuck said, “Now in its 9th year, Food for All is a highly anticipated event that features excellent food presented by top local restaurants and fun beverages.  But most importantly, together we are helping fund our important work to end hunger and food waste in Fairfield County and around the country.    Each year, thousands of volunteer food rescuers rescue food from food donors that would otherwise be wasted and deliver it to agencies that feed the food insecure.    We now operate in 20 locations in 12 states and the District of Columbia.   Any food left over from Food for All will be rescued and delivered that night to local agencies that feed the hungry.”

Event Details:

  • April 24, 2019
  • 6:30-9 PM
  • Abigail Kirsch at The Loading Dock
  • 375 Fairfield Avenue, Stamford, CT 06902
  • Tickets: $150

Featured Restaurants:

  • Abigail Kirsch
  • Brick Walk Tavern
  • Evarito’s
  • Jesup Hall
  • Knot Norms Catering
  • Le Rouge Chocolates
  • Lulu Chinese
  • Match/Match Burger Lobster
  • Milestone
  • My Myx
  • Terrain Garden Cafe
  • The Spread
  • Locali
  • Winfield Deli

About Food Rescue US

Founded in 2011, Food Rescue US is committed to ending American food insecurity and food waste through direct-transfer food rescue. Food Rescue US relies on a proprietary app to connect food donors with receiving agencies feeding the hungry with volunteer food rescuers who deliver the food from point a to point b.  Established as a 501(c)3 non-profit food-rescue platform, Food Rescue US is focused on transferring healthy, usable foods that would otherwise end up in landfills to where it can help feed those in need.    Since our founding we have delivered more than 30 million meals to the food insecure and rescued more than 43 million pounds of food from ending up in landfills.

Starving for a Solution, Volunteering for Change

by Amanda A. Swan

Do you know where your next meal is coming from? Consider yourself lucky. 12.3% of US households experienced food insecurity during 2016, meaning that they were uncertain where they could obtain enough food for every member of the family to maintain an active and healthy lifestyle. That means more than one out of every ten American households struggled to consistently put food on their family’s table, despite the fact that the United States is one of the wealthiest countries in the world. For Americans, poverty is too often imagined as a far off problem, one that exists only in penniless nations across the planet. The reality is that scarcity is your next door neighbor, a dilemma which directly impacts the very people you interact with each and every day.

Although you might imagine the food insecure as people who are homeless or panhandling on the corner, a lot of these hungry people aren’t so different from you. Their children sit in the desks next to your child at school, they pass you in the grocery store while you do your shopping for the week.  A full belly makes it easy to forget that the waiter serving your dinner might have skipped lunch to make sure his daughter could eat. We seldom consider that the smiling barista making our coffee every morning might be wondering when she’ll be able to afford to eat breakfast again.

 

Across America, the working class have increasingly become unnecessary victims of hunger and food uncertainty. When nearly one in five US households with children under 18 worry about feeding their kids, it’s hard to blame the problem on lack of motivation.  With costs of living skyrocketing, working class people must rely more and more on food pantries to support their families. Across the US, the average cost of living for a family with two children is about $65,000. The federal minimum wage currently sits at $7.25 per hour. That means if both parents work full time minimum wage jobs, they’ll still come up nearly $35,000 short of the average cost of living.

This leaves parents to make difficult choices, like buying their child a warm winter jacket instead of feeding themselves breakfast in the morning, or turning the heater on in their apartment instead of packing a lunch. Do I heat or do I eat? That’s not a situation any parent deserves to be in, but it’s especially unfair to parents working extremely hard to support their families.

While changing the reality of income inequality in the US and raising the minimum wage might seem like lofty, out of reach goals, there are things you can do on a local level to help the hungry people in your very own community. Food bank use is at an all time high, and with millions of American relying on these organizations, they desperately need the support of the more fortunate members of their communities. Just scanning local news headlines, you’ll read article after article about food banks across the nation that are “too poor to feed the poor,” and struggling to fill their shelves.

You don’t have to enact enormous political change to help feed your hungry neighbors. As Americans, we are currently living in an intensely controversial political environment, but some things truly shouldn’t be political. Citizens from every leaning and background can agree that food insecurity is a significant issue in the United States. It’s an issue facing even Americans with full time employment. Nobody deserves to starve to death or be malnourished. Feeding hungry Americans is a goal which transcends party lines.

In fact, many believe volunteerism can help us resolve this enormous problem more effectively than political action. Nonprofits fighting American hunger see this reality clearly. They recognize that activism takes many forms, and doesn’t necessarily need to be political. Volunteerism is a special brand of activism that all Americans can participate in, regardless of their political affiliation or opinion.

“We are not trying to change [government] policy,” says Alison Sherman, communications director at the nonprofit organization Food Rescue US. “Our volunteers are the heroes.” Your individual actions can hugely impact the realities of hungry families in America. If you have the time, volunteer regularly at a food pantry or soup kitchen in your local community. If you have the extra financial resources, try to make a regular donation. This can make a world of difference for these local organizations which are chronically understaffed and underfunded.

If you don’t have the time or resources to volunteer or donate on a regular basis, you are still capable of helping hungry people in need. It’s understandable if you aren’t able to contribute on a consistent basis or in these more traditional ways. Even though most people have an inherent desire to volunteer and help others, it can often be difficult to get started and impossible to commit to a schedule. When you are constantly busy with a career, children, or other life responsibilities, it may be inconvenient for you to find time to determine the best way to help others in your community. New concepts of volunteerism, like “food rescuing” might be a better fit for your life.

Food rescue is the concept of diverting edible, healthy food that is disposed of by restaurants and stores from landfills to food banks, where it can help hungry people. With more than 120 million pounds of food being thrown away in the US each year, food rescuing is an incredibly important idea. Even if you can only participate in food rescuing once per week and only load 20 pounds of food in your car, you would save more than 1,000 pounds of food from going to waste in a year. Your individual impact as a food rescuer is enormous. 

That’s why organizations like Sherman’s are committed to making volunteering accessible to everyone and rescuing this food. Co-founder and CEO Kevin Mullins was inspired to innovate the way we feed the hungry when he started Food Rescue US in 2011. Mullins recognized that hundreds of people could be fed by food that we already had. He saw that a shortage of food resources wasn’t America’s problem, the way we were distributing and using these resources was. Vast amounts of restaurant and grocery store leftovers that were destined for the landfill could feed hungry Americans if we could just find a way to get this food to them.

The plan to “rescue” this unused food was extremely successful — the organization has provided more than 21.3 million meals so far, and they’ve saved 32 million pounds of food from the landfill. Now more than ever, the nonprofit needs ordinary community members to help them expand their efforts. They’ve made it simple by designing a creative and modern approach to volunteerism that works from an app on your smartphone. You can download the app and sign up to pick up donated food from grocery stores of all sizes, farms, farmer’s markets, and restaurants and deliver it to food pantries, soup kitchens, homeless shelters, and other organizations in your area, all on your own schedule. There’s no minimum time commitment, so you can help others when you have time, even if that’s only once or twice a week.

There’s no questioning the facts. Working class Americans are struggling to feed their families, and food that they could eat is being thrown away. It’s up to us, right now, in this very moment, to decide how we can help these people and the charitable organizations that provide for their needs every day to build stronger, healthier communities. Whether you become involved with a food pantry or kitchen in a traditional volunteer role, donate to support these organizations financially, or give your time when you can by becoming a food rescuer, you will make an enormous difference in the lives of millions of Americans who are struggling to put food on the table even after a long day at work.