Rescued Food Helps Feed Muscatine’s Hungry
For a variety of reasons, grocery stores, restaurants, farmers markets and gardens often find themselves with a surplus of healthy food that they are unable to sell. Food rescue initiatives channel this extra food to meal sites and food pantries, thereby reducing waste and helping feed hungry people.
A new collaboration in Muscatine rescues a weekly average of 4,000 pounds of food, valued at $96,000, without any new source funding. Food is collected from Hy-Vee, Hy-Vee Mainstreet, Fareway and Pizza Ranch. It goes to the Muscatine Community Food Pantry, Pearl City Outreach and the Salvation Army.
Successful food rescue initiatives must master the logistics of communication (connecting groups with surplus food to groups needing food) and transportation (moving the food).
The Muscatine Blue Zones Food Policy Group, which launched the food rescue initiative in April 2014, manages the logistics of communication between organizations. Transportation is accomplished through the dedication of fourteen volunteers, supported by the Volunteer Center at the United Way of Muscatine.
Table to Table, a 30-year-old food rescue program in Iowa City is a go-to source for Iowa best practices.
Table to Table provided the model for the food rescue initiative in Muscatine and is also advising an effort by Eat Greater Des Moines to improve the coordination of food rescue efforts in central Iowa through the use of the “Food Cowboy” mobile app.
For more information about the Muscatine food rescue initiative, please contact Ms. Nichole Sorgenfrey at firstname.lastname@example.org or 563-263-5963. For more information on Table to Table, please contact Mr. Bob Andrlik at email@example.com or 319-337-3400. For more information about Eat Greater Des Moines, please contact Ms. Aubrey Alvarez at firstname.lastname@example.org or 515-491-1891.