Rescuing food may not require a superhero like Batman with his Batmobile but it does help if you have a really big truck.
What is rescued food? It’s the food that community volunteers pick up, right before it finds itself in the dumpster, behind local stores in our community. It’s the food that is close to expiration that is still safe to eat, like day old bread or bagged lettuce past its “sell-by” date, but not the excellent quality that a store would sell to customers.
Grace Klein Community is a local nonprofit that provides food to hundreds of families in need. They do this by ‘rescuing’ food from generous grocery stores and restaurants. Transporting the donations has been a struggle because they had to rely on volunteer vehicles that pulled a rickety open trailer. Often they had to reschedule trips because of weather or plan multiple trips to transport larger donations.
Last spring Grace Klein submitted a grant request to the Community Foundation under our “Access to healthy food” results strategy. They wanted to invest in a large box truck to allow them to expand their ability to rescue more food and provide health meals to more families in need.
Thanks to the additional help of our Giving Together donors, the grant was approved and Grace Klein purchased their truck this summer. According to Director, Scott Elliott, Grace Klein’s staff and volunteers have been able to use the box truck to pick up more food than ever before in a single trip. Their reach and the number of individuals and families they serve on a monthly basis tripled in the last few months of 2016.
Because of the additional donations they were also able to open a food pantry, called the Community Market that now serves more than 1100 people per week. This is in addition to the individuals and families that were already being served through their monthly food delivery program. “We now have a distributor who donates daily due to our new ability to pick up large quantities of food using the box truck,” says Scott Elliott. “Thanks to the Community Foundation and our incredible volunteers who help to preserve and distribute food, we are now serving more than 4000 people each month.”