It was just about a year ago that we performed our first food-rescue. We picked up a few pans of food from our first restaurant partner (we will always love you in that special way Match Restaurant of South Norwalk, Connecticut) and delivered them to a soup-kitchen down the road. This year has been about becoming informed and further connected to the cause of food-insecurity and even more excited about the promise of direct-transfer food-rescue.
One year in, if we had to give a synopsis of what we’ve learned it would be…
There’s Even More
1. There’s even more food going to waste than we originally thought. We got started because we knew good food (that could potentially feed hungry American families) was going to waste. We had no idea how much food it would actually be! We’ve rescued almost a million pounds of food now and most of that was rescued just in our launch location of Fairfield County, before we added our new two sites in Albuquerque and Columbus. This year’s number will be double or more. A recent study by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases found that Americans throw away as much as 40 percent of their food.
2. People are even more willing to help that we thought they would be. We had an idea that there were a good group of passionate people who wanted to make a difference but we’ve been pleasantly surprised to find that people are even more generous with their time and energy than we could have ever hoped. Up against the bad news of the rapidly escalating problem of food-insecurity in the United States, here’s some good news; we are learning that there are more than enough generous people to turn back that tide and make this unnecessary problem go away.
3. There’s even more reason to believe that hunger in the U.S. is a problem with an expiration date. Although we haven’t yet wrapped our head around the very different problem of world hunger, we are even more convinced than when we started that hunger in the U.S. is a simple problem of logistics and that a volunteer-driven, technology-fueled, direct transfer food-rescue platform can form the backbone of a “Food For All” movement that ultimately brings an end to our neighbors and friends going without the most basic of needs.
How has the last year been even more than you expected?
Another Wednesday equals another exciting addition to our food-donor roster! Elm Restaurant in New Canaan is our newest food-rescue partner and we can’t wait to see what delicious foods Community Plates food-runners will get to transfer to hungry people starting very soon.
Chef Brian Lewis and the Elm team serve modern American cuisine that is “rooted in tradition, inspired by the seasons”. Elm’s 80 seat restaurant features the chef’s ever-changing menus using products from local farmers, foragers and artisans as well as specialty, imported ingredients. Elm is open nightly for dinner and has just begun serving lunch daily as of today! (Wednesday, May 15th) Chef Lewis, best known for his collaboration with actor Richard Gere in creating The Barn and The Farmhouse at Bedford Post has a great interest in making sure no food goes to waste and Elm’s community focus makes joining the “Food-For-All” food-rescue revolution a natural fit.
Elm is our first New Canaan (CT) restaurant but hopefully not our last! Call and make a reservation for a night (or afternoon) at Elm soon and while you’re there say thank you for their commitment to taking care of those in need in their community.
We are super excited to announce that Barcelona Wine Bar and Bartaco restaurants are now official food-donation partners of Community Plates! Five different receiving agencies (and more important the food-insecure people they serve) in Fairfield County, CT will now be receiving unused rescued food at least two times per week.
In addition to rescuing even more food in Norwalk and Stamford these five new locations include our first regular restaurant food-rescues in Greenwich and Fairfield! The Fairfield connection will help us deliver even more food to Bridgeport and Fairfield (where we currently serve five different receiving agencies) and moves us closer toward our coming expansion into Westchester County, NY.
We’re looking for food-runners to log-in right away to CP “The App” and pick up these rescues that begin on Tuesday May 15th.
Barcelona Restaurant and Wine Bar is an award winning Spanish tapas restaurant group located throughout Connecticut, from the greater New York region to West Hartford and New Haven. These restaurants feature decor that evoke Milan, Soho or Rio de Janerio, simple, flavor-filled dishes and a comprehensive list of wines by the glass from around the world.
Bartaco features land and sea taco creations, simple and well crafted drinks served in a light breezy decor reminiscent of a contemporary beach resort.
We highly recommend you visit one of the locations of these new generous partners and when you’re there make sure to thank them for caring enough to make a difference for the hungry in their communities!
However much I can do, we can do more. However much you can do, we can do more.
This is the reason Community Plates are announcing “Organics, another important part of the march toward ending American food-insecurity. From the beginning we’ve been about making it simple to do good…giving passionate people the resources they need to rescue as much food as efficiently as possible. ”Organics” will make it simple for us to meet others on the same journey and form a community of people with the same focus.
To be clear, although we will always make it easy for one person to do one run, we think the only way a goal as audacious as feeding over 50,000,000 Americans can be accomplished is by realizing one of core values at Community Plates; namely the value of “community.”
So we’re jumping in with both feet! ”Organics” is matchmaking for socially-conscious people.
So, what exactly is an Organic?
These are runner-led meetups designed to build community outside of the day-to-day food runs you’re involved with! Grab coffee, go biking, meet at a bar, knit a huge sock (which would be weird). It doesn’t matter at all what you do as long as you’re spending time with other CP runners! Community is one of our core values at CP– hence Community Plates – and organics are how we’re going to get intentional about tightening our network!
Very soon “Organics” will be a function of our web-app (meaning you can login and find out what fun and energizing things are going on) but in the meantime we’re doing it the old-fashioned way (meaning email and phones.)
- Send the details of your Organic to Stephanie Spallino (email@example.com), including…When & Where and the email address you want RSVP’s to be sent to
- We’ll take care of the invitations for you
- After the event…You will receive a follow-up email, fill out a brief 5-question survey and start planning your next Organic!!
All of the above
The idea is not necessarily to add more activities to your already busy schedules but to invite others to join you in what you’re already doing.
If you have an idea now, let us know. Be on the lookout for several “Organics” invites soon.