Food Donor Spotlight: Colgan Farms in Windsor, Connecticut

Meet our Community Plates donors. These organizations, companies, restaurants, farms, and markets are part of our community dedicated to helping eliminate hunger in the U.S. Our donors are the backbone to what we do, and provide the food that volunteer food runners rescue and deliver to our partner agencies.

Colgan Farms Volunteers

Colgan Farms Volunteers

Colgan Farms

Food rescue in action

Food rescue in action

I could not be more pleased that both Mitchell Colgan of Colgan Farms in Windsor CT and Erica Pagliuco of the Coventry Farmers market have decided to work with us. We have been trying to reach out to large farmers and farmers markets for a while now with little success. Finally Erica responded with enthusiasm and is dedicated to the food rescue mission. Since we started working together we have had more fresh produce than ever before. Not only are we able to give it out in the food pantry and use it in meals at our soup kitchen but we were also able to offer items such as cucumbers and tomatoes for our soup kitchen guests to take home with them (we’ve never been able to do that) we not only want to promote healthy meals when they are on MACC premises but promote them making healthy choices at home and through these amazing donations, we are able to do that! We cannot say enough about these two generous individuals, Mitchell and Erica!

– Meaghan Sprague, MACC Charities, Community Plates Hartford

Location: Windsor, Connecticut

Local Site: Community Plates: Hartford

About: Colgan Farm cultivates heirloom produce-no chemicals, no GMOs, only fresh, healthy vegetables for the local community.


Picking fresh produce at Colgan Farms for our Hartford partners

Picking fresh produce at Colgan Farms for our Hartford partners

Kitchen Crawl Culinary Fundraiser in Connecticut



Chefs and restaurants are working to end hunger together in Connecticut, for an event to benefit Community Plates on Saturday, October 8, 2016 from 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM.

Chefs from Pearl, Rothbard, Nom-eez, The Spread, and Vespa will cook for you. Wine & Beer is  provided by Stew’s Wines, with media sponsor Moffly Publications.

To purchase tickets, visit the Kitchen Crawl on


Saturday, October 8, 2016 from 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM (EDT)


Westport – Westport, CT


Food Insecurity in the News: Community Plates in Ohio, Celebrity Chefs Transform Wasted Olympic Food, The 6 Stages of Food Waste

Our recent reading list of the people, places, and discussions taking place in food insecurity across the country.

Community Plates: Closing The Hunger Gap With an App via

4X1A5791-10-e1471274086478Community Plates offers a streamlined solution to a complex problem: plenty of restaurants have extra food and ingredients at the end of the day, but no practical way to deliver them consistently to organizations that can put them to good use. Improvised and ad hoc solutions tend to fail or fall short over time—like a well-intentioned machine, just not a well-oiled one. Every microwave oven on the planet has a button for popcorn, yet we still lack the technology to redirect food destined for the dumpster to folks who are hungry.

Read the full story on


Celebrity Chefs Turn Wasted Olympics Food Into Meals for Homeless via

Consider what it takes to keep all those Olympian machines nourished and hydrated for one meal at the Rio Games: 250 tons of raw ingredients to fill the bellies of 18,000 athletes, coaches and officials in the Olympic Village.

Now multiply that figure by three — for breakfast, lunch and dinner — and again for each day of the Games.

On the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, the Italian chef Massimo Bottura also did the math and was inspired, not by the tantalizing dimensions of herculean consumption but by the prospect of colossal waste.

Read the full story on the


From Field to Fork: The Six Stages of Wasting Food via The Guardian

watermelonEvery second, an amount of food equal to the weight of a sedan car is thrown away in the US – about 60m tons a year. It starts at the farm. The potato that grew to the size of a brick. The watermelon with the brown slasher marks on the rind. The cauliflower stained yellow in the sun. The peach that lost its blush before harvest. Any of those minor imperfections – none of which affect taste or quality or shelf life – can doom a crop right there. If the grower decides the supermarkets – or ultimately the consumer – will reject it, those fruits and vegetables never make it off the farm.

Read the full story on


Europe Does Something Amazing With Food That Has Nothing To Do With Eating via The Huffington Post

The Italian government passed sweeping legislation this week that aims to drastically reduce the amount of food wasted in the country. The new laws make it easier for farms and supermarkets to donate unsold food and reward businesses that cut waste. The measures also encourage Italians to take restaurant leftovers home in doggy bags (something Italians, apparently, are loath to do).

Read the full story on Huffington Post.


Meet the Team: Samantha Mauro

Hometown/Current City:

Bethel, CT/Stamford, CTSamantha Mauro

What is your role at Community Plates?

Social Media Coordinator

What’s on your desk?

Photos of my nephew and lots of sharpies.

What do you like to do in your free time?

I play volleyball, practice yoga and enjoy exploring new places.

How/when did you first become inspired around issues of American food insecurity?

When I was younger I hosted bake sales to raise money for a childhood hunger organization. The statistics hit close to home given my age at the time.

Who or what inspires you most?

Kid President – check out his videos on YouTube if you’re not familiar with him. He’s a great reminder on how simple and easy it is to be a decent human being and that we could all stand to laugh more.

If there is one thing you recommend we could do to end hunger in our communities, what would it be?

It starts with awareness. Just because we live in an affluent area doesn’t mean that everyone has a safety net for when the going gets tough. Join a group like Community Plates, participate in a food drive or volunteer at a local pantry or soup kitchen.

Update from our Cincinnati Partner, La Soupe

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.


Chef Suzy de Young

La Soupe, Cincinnati, Ohio
A Community Plates Partner Site

Food Insecurity in the News: Hacking Poverty with Mobile Tech, Sell-by Dates & Food Waste Link, 59 Organizations that Fight Hunger

Our recent reading list of the people, places, and discussions taking place in food insecurity across the country.

Hacking poverty through mobile tech and social entrepreneurship via TechCrunch

The most successful distributed system to date is mobile technology. With 6.8 billion mobile subscriptions worldwide, more people on the planet have access to mobile phones than to toilets. Using this near ubiquity of mobile technology, poverty hackers are changing the economics of poverty through new strategies for investments, loans and credit. Already, mobile money in the global south is leapfrogging the global north’s centralized banking paradigm.

Social entrepreneurship is proving its worth throughout the developing world by applying established business principles and practices to poverty-related issues. Unlike top-down aid approaches, social entrepreneurship fosters and supports solutions created within communities of poor and marginalized people, making those solutions more likely to be adopted and sustained over time.

The ‘Sell By’ Dates On Our Groceries Are Causing Tons Of Food Waste via Climate Progress

shutterstock_220205905-1024x683The food labeling system in the United States is a complete mess. Foods can be labeled “healthy” regardless of how much sugar they contain. Foods can be labeled “Non-GMO” even when they don’t have genes, making the existence of a genetically-modified version impossible.

But beyond encouraging misinformation in our food system and potentially leading consumers to make ill-informed nutritional decisions, labels can also be terrible for the environment and food security.

Ask Well: Can You Eat Foods Past the ‘Sell By’ Date? via New York Times

Although the USDA food safety chart recommends that chicken, for example, only be kept in the fridge for two days, the “sell by” dates for chicken sold in refrigerators in stores is much longer than that. Why is there this discrepancy, and which is correct?

59 Organizations Fighting Food Loss and Waste via Food Tank

istock_47440964_mediumIt’s no secret that food loss and food waste are big problems. At least 1.3 billion tons of food is lost or wasted every year—in fields, during transport, in storage, at restaurants, and in markets in industrialized and developed countries alike. In rich countries alone, some 222 million tons of food is wasted, which is almost as much as the entire net food production of sub-Saharan Africa. And according to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), wasted food costs some US$680 billion in industrialized countries and US$310 billion in developing countries.

Meet the Team: Alison Sherman, Director of Communications

13416976_10209438220063256_4178256232763657843_o-3Hometown/Current City:

London,England/Weston, CT

What is your role at Community Plates?

Director of Communications

What’s on your desk?

My favorite quote, framed:

“I expect to pass through life but once. If therefore, there be any kindness I can show, or any good thing I can do to any fellow being, let me do it now, and not defer or neglect it, as I shall not pass this way again.” William Penn

What do you like to do in your free time?

I enjoy the active lifestyle: I cycle, hike, trail run, ski and practice yoga. I love to read, travel, cook (I used to be a pastry chef) and spend time with family and friends.

How/when did you first become inspired around issues of American food insecurity?

A few years ago I was looking for a volunteer opportunity that would allow me a hands on experience. Two different people in my life, who don’t know each other, were food runners for Community Plates and suggested I give it a try. One food run and I was hooked. Like most people, I was shocked at the level of food insecurity in the affluent community of Fairfield County, and a few months after running food, I applied for a job in the office, got it and the rest is history.

Who or what inspires you most?

I continue to be inspired daily, as I have been for the last four years, by my colleagues in the national office. There is no more committed group of individuals, dedicated to ending this senseless problem and making the world a better place. THAT’S inspiring.

If there is one thing you recommend we could do to end hunger our communities, what would it be?

Get involved, in whatever way works for you, but by all means get involved! I believe hunger can be eradicated in this country, as it was in 70’s, through grass roots, local action. We say that Community Plates is the simple solution to ending local hunger, one community at a time. We can all play a part in ending food insecurity in this country.

Meet the Team: Christina Knudsen, Director of Development


Hometown/Current City:

Darien, CT/Pittsburgh, PA

What is your role at Community Plates?

Director of Development

What’s on your desk?

Several empty coffee cups and about 1,000 post-it notes.

What do you like to do in your free time?

I love to cook and make a mess in the kitchen, and spend time with my husband, daughter, and very spoiled dog. I’m kind of a book nerd and read as much as my 10-month old daughter allows me to.

How/when did you first become inspired around issues of American food insecurity?

Hunger and food insecurity have always been issues that “bothered” me from a young age. I could never reconcile that so many people struggle just to find food with the wealth and overall food resources in this country. Food insecurity just doesn’t make sense in America today.

Who or what inspires you most?

Hermione Granger. Just kidding (sort of). That is a really hard question! I’m inspired by so many things- places I’ve traveled, music, books, friends, my parents, my husband and our faith – it would be tough to pick just one.

If there is one thing you recommend we could do to end hunger our communities, what would it be?

People tend to think about hunger at certain times of the year, like Thanksgiving and Christmas. But hunger is an every day problem. I’d recommend finding opportunities in your community to get engaged on an ongoing basis, whether as a volunteer, an advocate, or a donor – for example, at Community Plates, you can volunteer as a food runner whenever it fits your schedule. By just driving your car, hungry people will have access to healthy, fresh food!

An Update from Community Plates New Haven


Welcome New Food Donors

A great big welcome and THANK YOU to our newest New Haven food donors:

G Cafe Bakery, Ninth Square

Katalina’s Bakery

Upcoming Events

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)!

If you live in Connecticut, please follow Community Plates New Haven on Facebook for the latest news and events from the New Haven area.

If you have any questions, or are interested in becoming a New Haven volunteer or donor, contact us.

Claneil Foundation Awards Emerging Leaders Fund Grant to Community Plates Executive Director Kevin Mullins


Kevin Mullins, Community Plates Executive Director since 2011

We are thrilled to announce that the Claneil Foundation, a private family foundation based in Philadelphia, recently selected Executive Director Kevin Mullins and Community Plates as recipients of the Emerging Leaders Fund grant. Kevin was selected from a competitive pool of 75 nominations representing emerging organizations in the Mid Atlantic/New England Region. We will receive $200,000 in general operating funds over four years, and as the organization’s leader, Kevin will have access to up to $10,000 for professional development.

Kevin said, “This grant is important validation of all the energy so many have invested in establishing a new type of solution to American food insecurity. In addition, it is a real affirmation of our vision to end hunger in the United States through direct transfer food rescue. We are honored to be recognized alongside previous innovative leaders and organizations as well as our three other co-grantees this year.”

Recipients are selected based on their creative vision, leadership capacity, potential for impact, and commitment to innovation and learning in one or more of the Foundation’s interest areas. This grant program is focused primarily on early stage organizations located in the New England and Mid-Atlantic states.