CFR’s Network Growing with your Help

Manna rescues 7,000lbs. of food every day from more than 50 groceries and farmer's markets to distribute to 38,000 each year.
Manna Food Center, the largest of CFR’s growing network of food assistance organizations, rescues 7,000 lbs. of  wholesome but unsalable food every day from more than 50 groceries and farmer’s markets to distribute to 38,000 people each year who experience hunger.

In CFR’s first quarter of matching food donations through our new auto-match web application, the CFR network is growing—there are now 74 donors, 19 food assistance organizations, and 43 volunteer food runners signed up to use the web app. Since September, 15,039 pounds of food have been redirected to the agencies that serve people experiencing hunger.

But beyond just the numbers, there are stories of farmers that don’t plow under their surplus crops, caterers that don’t dump leftover delicacies at the end of a party, and cancelled food events that don’t end up filling the trash. Grocers and cafes donate their unsold food instead of tossing it into the dumpster. Food assistance organizations, like Bethesda Cares, tell their stories about making their homeless clients’ holiday much brighter with delicious meals donated after The Community Foundation’s fund-raiser gala.

Sandra at Interfaith Works shows off beautiful collard greens donated by Plow and Stars farm.
Sandra at Interfaith Works shows off beautiful collard greens donated by Plow and Stars farm.

After receiving 50 lbs. of organic collard greens from Plow and Stars farm, Sandra Miller, from Interfaith Works-Community Vision, shared, “We prepared the collards, sautéing them with onions, butter and garlic, and they were YUMMY!!! The clients, all 60 or so, just loved them. We sent some to our other Interfaith Works programs, Becky’s House, which is a group home for formerly homeless senior women.  They also loved them.  So these collards went a long way to feeding the spirit and the body, and we are very grateful.”

These collards went a long way to feeding the spirit and the body, and we are very grateful. –Sandra Miller, Interfaith Works-Community Vision

Our growing corps of volunteers who transport food from donor to recipient find their role quite rewarding. Tammi Houton said, “I enjoyed the opportunity to feel productive and helpful to the larger community.”

Barbara at Rainbow CDC receiving food donation
Barbara at Rainbow CDC receiving food donation

There is so much more that we can do together. The more users, the stronger the CFR network will become. Here’s how you can help. If you cater a party or hold a fundraising gala, require your caterers to donate leftovers after your event. When eating out, talk with the restaurant manager and ask, ‘Do you donate your unsold food?” Let them know that food recovery is important to you, the community, and our environment. Ask your farmers’­ market manager where unsold food goes after the market closes. If they don’t already donate food, tell them how farmers can donate through Community Food Rescue.

Read more stories about food recovery on the CFR blog and share your stories with us!

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