America has more than enough food to feed everyone. But our abundance is accompanied by tremendous waste. By some estimates, nearly half of the food grown, processed and transported in the U.S. goes to waste. -from Feeding America's "Fighting Food Waste with Food Rescue"
The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates food waste in the United States to be about 30 to 40 percent of the food supply.
Desert Harvest fights hunger in the Albuquerque area in an incredibly cost-effective way, by making use of an existing but under-utilized food source: surplus food from restaurants, hotels, schools, and supermarkets that would otherwise be thrown away.
In some ares of the country, sophisticated ways of collecting food have been developed.
A Food Rescue App in New York City (and Albuquerque)
In New York City, the non-profit organization Transfernation uses technology (an app similar to Uber Eats) that allows donors to provide immediate information about the availability of surplus prepared foods. "In the last two years, we have redistributed over 52,000 pounds of food to countless shelters in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and the Bronx," the organization said on its website.
A huge thank you to @MarthaStewart for the love. Check out our latest #Transfernation feature https://t.co/JcnTdh3c49— Transfernation (@solvehungernow) April 5, 2017
Well, guess what? There is also an app available in Albuquerque. The service is offered by Food Rescue US, an organization that operates in 17 locations around the country. Read more below.
In Southern California, the San Diego Unified School District has partnered with Feeding San Diego (a counterpart to Roadrunner Food Bank in Albuquerque) to create a food-rescue operation called Love Food Not Waste. The food comes from the school district's prep kitchens.
In Las Vegas, Nevada, MGM has partnered with Three Square Food Bank to create a new standardized program for safe collection, preservation and service of surplus banquet food that will help reduce hunger in Southern Nevada. Check out this video.
These are just a handful of examples around the country of innovative ways of rescuing prepared foods.
In Albuquerque, there are at least three food-rescue operations.
overall food rescue operations. The effort was launched in 2014, in partnership with former Mayor Richard Berry's administration, Ovations Food Services, Noon Day Ministries, St. Martin’s Hospitality Center and Joy Junction. The initial effort involved the rescue of food that was left over from the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta and from the Albuquerque Isotopes baseball games. In 2017, Roadrunner rescued 6,280 pounds of prepared foods. The food banks is both contacted and solicits prepared foods from restaurants and other locations that have surpluses. "We follow many food safety guidelines as we comply with all food regulations by FDA, USDA and AIB," said Andy Knowlton, Food Rescue Manager at Roadrunner Food Bank. "We are audited as any other food handling facility is audited."
Learn more about Desert Harvest and Roadrunner Food Bank's food-rescue operations at the next bimonthly meeting of the Interfaith Hunger Coalition. Our guest presenters are Swarupa Wattlington of Desert Harvest, Brittainy Mullins from Food Rescue US (formerly Community Plates) and Andy Knowlton of Roadrunner Food Bank
Tuesday, May 22
First Presbyterian Church
Everyone is welcome!