12.14.2008

Ministry highlight: Food Rescue

Below is a guest post from Mary, my sister's mother-in-law (or, as they like to say, "mother-in-love"!). Mary is a talented, big-hearted woman who is kept busy raising 4 kids, scrapbooking, and working in the local high school's performing arts department. She's involved at our church, and recently her family has been helping with a ministry called Food Rescue, going to local restaurants and taking leftover food to local food pantries. Here's her story.
Our family volunteers for Food Rescue, a national program seeking to rescue good food that would otherwise be thrown in the trash, and giving it to shelters and needy organizations.  This is the food left over at restaurants at the end of the day, there’s nothing at all wrong with it, it’s just that it was excess.  They throw this food away, people. There are homeless everywhere, yet millions of dollars of food is thrown away.  Bugs the living daylights out of me.
We go to Paradise Cafe and pick up one Monday a month.  Last week we picked up 6 bags of their incredibly good cookies that would have been thrown in the trash, and delivered them to Third Phase, a women’s shelter and food pantry.
Here’s a recent letter from John, who is the Indiana chapter president.  They could use some donations, if you feel so called to this ministry.
Hello Friends,
 In the past year, Food Rescue, through our website FoodRescue.net as scheduled 750 “food rescues” around the country.  We have over 1200 volunteers and 40 Chapter Presidents around the country serving once a month for 90 minutes to care for people in need in their community.
The IRS just awarded Food Rescue 501c3 status last week.   The retail value of the food that we have scheduled to save from the dumpster is nearly 3 million dollars annually since November of 2007.
These totals reflect the efforts of over 1200 volunteers doing a very small thing to make a very big impact.  Our hope is that the work of Food Rescue can be financially supported in the same way.  We are trying to have all 750 Food Rescues sponsored at $10 per month.  There are currently over 100 times slots sponsored, and can be seen here:  foodrescue.net/volunteers/schedule.  Click on Indianapolis Schedule for an example.
If the outrage of 27% of food being wasted in our country in this or any economy is strong enough in your heart, could I ask you this Christmas to consider giving $10 to sponsor a Food Rescue and forward this message onto your friends to see if they would do the same.  I can’t begin to estimate the number of people in need that have been fed from the sacrificial volunteering of time from our volunteers around the country, and I pray that your $10 gift and forwarding to friends would make the same impact.  
 You can make this donation at FoodRescue.net using the paypal Donate button in the lower left hand corner, or mail the check to the address below.  As times are as difficult as they have ever been in our country, we do not underestimate the sacrifice of even $10.
God bless and thanks for you consideration,
John Williamson, Food Rescue President
Want to get involved? Check out the websites mentioned and see if there's a chapter of Food Rescue near you. If there's not, look into starting one or starting something similar- as she said, it's appalling that there are both tons of food going to waste AND hungry people among us.

Here, Mary, (in green) is with her 2 daughters and her friend, setting up for Caroline & Josh's rehearsal dinner in June. She blogs at a private family blog, and I wish she wrote more guest posts for me, because she's a hilarious and animated writer- and a great photographer, too!

1 comment:

Anonymous Cogitations said...

As someone who works in a restaurant, I can verify that it's true. Not only is there food that has never been touched thrown out at the end of the day, but portion sizes are way too big and not everyone gets their leftovers to go. Even if they do take them to go, they transport them in Styrofoam containers. There are SO many things restaurants could do that would be better for society AND the environment. Fortunately there are restaurants, at least in my area, that work hard to help society and the environment in many ways (buying local organic produce, selling re-usable to-go containers, reminders to only take as many napkins as you need, composting the waste, and on and on). If I do eat out, those are the restaurants I eat at.

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