We wanted to pass on a portion of an email we received last week from one of the receiving agencies we serve. It’s from Debbie who is the pantry coordinator at St. Stephen’s Food Pantry which serves food-insecure individuals and families in Bridgeport, CT.
St. Stephens has made an intentional move toward providing more fresh foods to those they serve and that fits perfectly with our direct-transfer food-rescue platform…so our food-runners are taking as much food there as we can!
Here’s what Debbie had to say:
I just want to say THANK YOU so very much for supporting us at the pantry. The guests are very happy about the fresh foods. We have fed 346 people this month and we have only been open 4 days. That is crazy! The state is revamping their system and many families are without food stamps. A worker said they are backed up and are now working on February issues.
Oh by the way, we let our guests do their own shopping. They just love it and they get just what they need and want. They come out saying “hey I just went shopping.” It’s mostly the food from COMMUNITY PLATES. (she inserts a whole bunch of happy emoticons here) these are some of the facial expressions as the guests leave the pantry.
Have a great day !
We are so thankful for our food-donors in the area (Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods just to name two) who allow their surplus and expiring foods (foods with life still in them) to be rescued and for our passionate generous food-runners who help make the whole thing happen. We’re also super-grateful for compassionate, creative people like Debbie who do everything they can to make sure people in need get the most and best foods they can!
We all know that it’s not always a straight line that connects where something is to where it needs to be, but when we plan out our days we still try to integrate as many “straight-lines” as possible. You can get from Alabama to New Jersey through Nevada, but it’s not the ideal path right?
Community Plates started based on the idea that rescued foods would be best utilized by those who serve America’s food-insecure population (food-pantries and soup kitchens) if they received it as directly as possible. This is why the one of three pillars of this food-rescue movement is “direct-transfer.” Quite simply this means that rescued-food need not travel to any secondary location before it arrives at that place where hungry people get fed. One year into this “Food-For-All” revolution this idea is showing real promise and may eventually prove lethal to American hunger.
Here’s just two reasons why direct-transfer food-rescue is such a good idea:
1. Since food is not brought back to a warehouse to be sorted and stored, Community Plates eliminates the overhead normally attached to physical locations and the employees it takes to staff those locations. This supports our goal of building a sustainable, scalable platform.
2. Since food eligible for rescue is often “ready to eat right now”, direct-transfer means that more of it will actually be eaten. This is especially the case with fresh foods including produce which may only have 48 hours of life left when they’re rescued (just as an example.) Point A to B transfer means an apple or mango (or bag of lettuce, etc.) might be providing nourishment within hours of it’s rescue rather than taking the chance for increased spoilage and waste by being sorted and warehoused.
Technology and passionate generous people make this kind of process possible. American hunger better start looking for a new job!
What are other reasons why direct-transfer makes sense?