Update from Columbus, Ohio: New Food Runs, New Food Donor & Save the Date

Hello Community Plates Columbus!

There is so much happening with Community Plates right now. First of all we finally have a run in Bexley, we will be picking up from Brueggers Bagels every Saturday and Sunday. We are also picking up daily from the Brueggers on Neil Avenue, this is a great run for anyone who lives near campus or works at OSU. Rosa & Roccos in New Albany is back to donating surplus from their awesome Sunday brunch.

unnamed (6)Please join me in welcoming Hoof Hearted Brewery as a donor. I know the name is funny but the food, the beer and the donations are great. I highly recommend the Sunday brunch!

Please mark your calendars for Community Plates Food For All 2016. This is our annual fundraiser which will be held at Gordon Biersch in the Arena District on Thursday April 21 5:30-8:30. You will all be receiving an official invitation soon.

Victory Ministries has moved to a new, much larger location in Whitehall. This is another great one for Bexley runners. Below is a picture of the Little Caesars Stygler run that goes to Victory Ministries every Wednesday. Don’t let the picture scare you. We usually pick up about 30 pizzas, but this one was 95!

– Susan Keiser Smith

Please Welcome Nick Carlisi, Community Plates NOLA Site Director

unnamedOriginally from Long Island, NY, Nick came to New Orleans to study the Jazz culture and embrace the Big Easy lifestyle. During his undergraduate career at Loyola University and realizing he had to pay the bills somehow, Nick started working in the food industry. There, he not only developed a passion for artisanal coffee but also saw firsthand the massive amount of food that goes to waste each day.

Nick said, “I was thrilled to discover an alternative to food waste and jumped at the chance to join the Community Plates family. I am excited to apply my creativity and passion to help those who are food insecure. New Orleans has given me so much, I am more than happy to give back.”

If he is not brainstorming unique ideas or trying new things, you can find Nick pursuing his other passions: playing gypsy jazz on guitar and coaching high school wrestling. He hopes to do everything the world can offer him and travel to as many places as possible. In the meantime, he enjoys unicycling, roasting his own coffee, and admiring the qualities of his favorite animal: a sloth.

Getting to Know: Community Plates in Albuquerque, New Mexico

 


Facts & Figures


Why do you rescue food for Community Plates?

IMG_4967Before I even saw it on the website, when I heard about Community Plates I joined because it just makes sense! I cringe when I contribute to food waste on a personal level, so to think by becoming a food runner I could have an impact on a macro level was amazing. Especially as a student this is the PERFECT volunteer opportunity because you don’t always know what your week is going to look like but you do often have pockets of free time during the day. Also it is an incredible way to be more intimately connected to your community.
– Julie Gallagher, New Orleans

 


Meet Kristin Fleming, Community Plates Albuquerque Site Director

unnamed

I rescue food because nearly half of our working families are low income and cost-burdened. Getting food to families in need is one less (of so many) things for them to worry about, and allows them to begin to shift the focus from simply surviving to thriving.

What do you like to do in your free time?

I like to roam the bosque, ride bikes with friends, and experiment with clay plasters.

What is the biggest challenge in your community?

Sadly, New Mexico ranks highest in child hunger, and current policies are making it harder to get healthy food to hungry kids. There is so much need here, but so much abundance, too. It’s connecting the dots and building community that makes the difference.

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

I went to school in Pittsburgh, and it was there that I really noticed some extreme disparities in neighborhood food access. Pittsburgh is also unique in that while it’s quite dense, it’s hilly and divided by rivers creating some interesting geographic barriers to folks without access to transportation. More affluent neighborhoods are brimming with restaurants and groceries, while others are lucky to have a corner store where the only option is processed food. Without a car, or the time to take multiple buses, or the ability to walk up and down the hills to get there, shopping for fresh foods is literally impossible for some people. And that doesn’t even account for the cost of food, which is prohibitive for so many regardless of geography.

If there is one thing we should do to help eradicate food insecurity in our communities, what would it be, and how can we get involved?

Get involved with Community Plates, of course! We’ve made it so easy to plug right in and get to the meaningful work, taking food that would otherwise be wasted to folks that are hungry. It’s a great place to start to reconnect with our relationship to food and community. And from there, who knows? Hopefully wasting less, growing more, and always sharing the abundance.

Read the full profile

 


 

Meet Kristin Fleming, Our New Site Director for Albuquerque, New Mexico

unnamed

Kristin Fleming

Hometown/Current City:

Erie, PA >> Albuquerque, NM

What is your role at Community Plates? 

I’m the new site director here in Albuquerque!

What do you like to do in your free time? 

I like to roam the bosque, ride bikes with friends, and experiment with clay plasters.

What is the biggest challenge in your community? 

Sadly, New Mexico ranks highest in child hunger, and current policies are making it harder to get healthy food to hungry kids. There is so much need here, but so much abundance, too. It’s connecting the dots and building community that makes the difference.

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

I went to school in Pittsburgh, and it was there that I really noticed some extreme disparities in neighborhood food access. Pittsburgh is also unique in that while it’s quite dense, it’s hilly and divided by rivers creating some interesting geographic barriers to folks without access to transportation. More affluent neighborhoods are brimming with restaurants and groceries, while others are lucky to have a corner store where the only option is processed food. Without a car, or the time to take multiple buses, or the ability to walk up and down the hills to get there, shopping for fresh foods is literally impossible for some people. And that doesn’t even account for the cost of food, which is prohibitive for so many regardless of geography.

Who or what inspires you most?

Oh gosh. So many people and so many things, past and present. Artists, makers, activists. In this particular moment though, I’m thinking of my parents back East, who worked real hard to raise my sister and I, and who now have the chance to work hard for themselves creating businesses that have become neighborhood mainstays. Their work has been all heart and 70+ hour weeks, and although my work keeps taking me away from home, they’ve been nothing but supportive as I carve out a similar path.

If there is one thing we should do to help eradicate food insecurity in our communities, what would it be, and how can we get involved?

Get involved with Community Plates, of course! We’ve made it so easy to plug right in and get to the meaningful work, taking food that would otherwise be wasted to folks that are hungry. It’s a great place to start to reconnect with our relationship to food and community. And from there, who knows? Hopefully wasting less, growing more, and always sharing the abundance.

Getting to Know: Community Plates in Columbus, Ohio


Facts & Figures

  • 1,323,680 meals rescued

  • Year Founded: 2012

  • 64 food runners

  • 74 food donors


What Our Columbus, Ohio Volunteers Have to Say

11046715_930408586993417_1915230481599144403_o

Tracy Elzy, Columbus, Ohio Volunteer

Through volunteering with Community Plates, I can be a part of the change that I wish to see in the world in a very real and tangible way.

– Tracy Elzy, Columbus Volunteer Food Runner

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

It’s like I am a vigilante for a lot of hungry people. I take the surplus food and then give give to the needy- one run at a time.

– Joshua Rider, Columbus Volunteer Food Runner


Meet 3 Columbus Food Donors

Hot Chicken Takeover

Hot Chicken Takeover

Hot Chicken Takeover

In addition to serving perfectly fried chicken rubbed with a cayenne-infused paste, the mission of the company is a beacon of social impact. According to their mission: “It’s about our people. Beyond an amazing community of customers, HCT provides supportive jobs to men and women who need a second chance at work. Be it homelessness, previous incarceration, or another barrier to employment, HCT employees are wildly ambitious and have set their sights on what’s next.” They even mentioned us in their 2015 year in review!

Whole Foods: Easton, Ohio

We’re so lucky to have relationships with Whole Foods across the country, and this fantastic new Easton location is no exception.

Worthington Farmers Market

The Worthington Farmers Market is Central Ohio’s largest farmers market, boasting more than 70 vendors from Columbus and the surrounding areas. The market includes locally grown seasonal fruits and vegetables, locally produced cheeses, jams, jellies, honey and maple syrup, high quality cuts of meat from carefully raised farm animals, eggs from pastured chickens, flowers, herbs, plants, homemade soaps, and foodstuffs. The market is a year-round tradition that is held in the heart of Worthington.


Meet Susan Keiser Smith, Columbus Site Director

Susan Keiser-Smith

Susan Keiser-Smith

Hometown/Current City:
Troy, OH

What do you like to do in your free time?
Travel, play soccer, spend time with family, kayak, hike

How did you first become inspired around issues of food insecurity?
Through Community Plates. One of my neighbors started CP in Columbus. I did a few runs and the rest is history.

Who or what inspires you most?
The strong women in my family. I really miss my grandmas, one had dementia and was an inspiration even in her darkest days. The other lived to be 103 and lived at home until the last few months of her life. My mom and sister are my rocks.

If there is one thing we should do to help eradicate food insecurity in our communities, what would it be, and how can we get involved?
Finding new runners. Once someone signs up for their first run and realizes how easy and rewarding it is, they are hooked.


 

Our Volunteer Recruitment Drive is ON!

Volunteer_national2

Since this revolution started in 2011, more than 1300 individuals have completed a food rescue, with an overall total of more than 10 million meals rescued and delivered to date. This annual food runner recruitment drive is motivated by the question “what would happen for America’s food insecure if we could double that number this year?” We think it can be done and hope all of you will help us continue this march toward the end of food insecurity in our communities.

We will be partnering with various supporters in our locations this month. In Fairfield County, our Community Partner b.good will be hosting a family event for us at the end of the month in their new Greenwich restaurant. We are planning additional activities and fundraising events in their other CT stores, watch out for details and mark your calendars, it’s going to be great!

SIGN UP TODAY TO VOLUNTEER 

A Q&A with Columbus, Ohio Site Director, Susan Keiser-Smith

Meet one of our longest-serving site directors, Susan Keiser-Smith. She has been at the center of our food rescue efforts in Columbus. An active volunteer in her community, Susan is passionate about food rescue and children in need.

 


Hometown/Current City:susan
Troy, OH

What is your role at Community Plates?
Columbus Site Director

What do you like to do in your free time?
Travel, play soccer, spend time with family, kayak, hike

How did you first become inspired around issues of food insecurity?
Through Community Plates. One of my neighbors started CP in Columbus. I did a few runs and the rest is history.

Who or what inspires you most?
The strong women in my family. I really miss my grandmas, one had dementia and was an inspiration even in her darkest days. The other lived to be 103 and lived at home until the last few months of her life. My mom and sister are my rocks.

If there is one thing we should do to help eradicate food insecurity in our communities, what would it be, and how can we get involved?
Finding new runners. Once someone signs up for their first run and realizes how easy and rewarding it is, they are hooked.

Food Insecurity in the News: Obama’s free lunch plan, Ugly Produce Update, Farm to Fridge

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


Obama’s plan to give free lunches to millions of kids

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.

Read the full story on the WashingtonPost.com


Q&A Ensuring Food Security for All

CFS-Chair-Gornass-260As 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.

Read the full interview on IPSNews.com

 


Getting Ugly Produce onto Hungry People’s Plates

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.

Read the full story on CivilEats.com


How Regional Food Hubs Shrink the Path from Farm to Fridge

aggregators-hjero-1Williams 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.

Read the full story on ModernFarmer.com

 

Season’s Greetings and Happy New Year from Community Plates

Season’s Greeting and Happy Holidays to our Community Plates Family!

This is our time to thank you for your commitment to ending food insecurity in the United States.  In 2015, you have donated, rescued, delivered and/or received 3.87 million meals across the country. Last month was our biggest ever, a whopping 408,750 meals transferred. This brings our national total, since we started in 2011, to 9.1 million meals rescued and 13.7 million pounds saved from landfill! Thank you just doesn’t seem to cover it. 

cp_happy