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  • Writer's pictureWaste Not

An Inside Look at Food Rescue

Updated: Aug 16, 2019

Food waste and recovery occurs every single day and most people are unaware of what goes on behind the scenes —read on for a sneak peak! 

While Waste Not provides the connection between excess food and those who need it most, we rely on our vast network of partnerships to make it all happen. Food donor partners, like Target, provide thousands of pounds of fresh food each week. We rode along with Jorge Hernandez, a Waste Not driver, as he loaded his truck up with boxes of fresh meat, produce, and dairy and then delivered it to a nearby Salvation Army food pantry.

We spoke with Lieutenant Emanuel of the Salvation Army who gave us a tour of the food pantry at the Corps Community Center in Mesa, AZ. He shared that they serve over 100 unique clients per day with their monthly food box and daily sack lunch programs and noted the perishable food the Salvation Army receives from Waste Not enables them to provide healthy foods that are not typically available in standard food box programs. Lieutenant Emanuel explained that the fresh food is especially beneficial to their sack lunches, which are provided to people who don’t otherwise have a place to store food. 

Refrigerated trucks are what enable us to safely recover healthy, perishable foods from retail partners like Target, other grocery stores, or catering companies that have a surplus that would otherwise end up in landfills. Waste Not recently received a $75,000 grant from Thermo King’s social sustainability program, We Move Food, to offset the costs of operating and maintaining our refrigerated fleet, which is the heart of our food recovery model.

Thermo King’s We Move Food is a nationwide program dedicated to helping nonprofits like us reduce food waste and improve food security for the millions of people experiencing chronic hunger.

So far, in 2019, Waste Not has recovered over 562,000 POUNDS OF FRESH FOOD and delivered it to those who need it most. 

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