Our goal of “feeding more and wasting less” in Montgomery County is a nonstop endeavor, and Community Food Rescue is thrilled to share learnings, and learn with others who share our vision. In the past few months, we’ve participated in a number of events with partners in our network and the broader community.
On Sundays, the Olney Farmers and Artists Market is THE place to be if you’re into good food, local produce, unique art and building community. While you may first be enticed by vendors who provide delicious edibles and cool crafts, you’ll want to stay longer to visit with exhibiting local non-profits and small businesses.
The market is also a wonderful CFR partner. During the market’s peak months, Manna Food Center sends trucks to pick up produce each Sunday when the market closes. After this year’s peak harvest season – when there wasn’t enough food to fill a truck – the market signed on as a CFR donor. All winter through April, delicious winter produce and prepared food was picked up by a CFR volunteer and delivered to Seneca Heights Apartments (SHA), which provides permanent supportive housing.
Rockville’s Redland Middle School is a great example of how a meaningful education is about much more than just reading, writing and arithmetic.
A while back, the school established a “share table” where more than 500 students could place unopened, unwanted food for others to eat and enjoy. A great idea in itself, the school decided to take the share table one step further when it became clear that some perfectly good food was still going unclaimed and thrown away at the end of each school day.
Rather than allowing bags of fresh carrots, salads and even whole wrapped sandwiches to needlessly be wasted, Montgomery County Public Schools Food Services Head Marla R. Caplon called Redland Principal Everett M. Davis to discuss launching a CFR pilot program. Davis responded enthusiastically, and CFR met with him, Caplon and the school’s kitchen and custodial managers to discuss how to proceed.
The simple lack of refrigeration or freezer space is often cited as a major bottleneck in recovering and redistributing surplus food to where it is most needed.For the past three years, Community Food Rescue (CFR) has awarded mini-grants to its members to increase their capacity to serve more people in the community who experience hunger. Food donor, Red Wiggler Community Farm, and food assistance organization, Liberty Grove United Methodist Church (UMC), are among this year’s recipients.
Since our start in Sept. 2015, Community Food Rescue’s (CFR) growing network—now 200 members strong — has redirected 744,487 lbs. of rescued food, representing about 496,000 meals, to people experiencing hunger. As we plan our programming for 2017, please take this short CFR interest survey to let us know how we can make the most of your CFR experience.
Step onto the Asbury Methodist Village (AMV) campus and you just feel it. The camaraderie. The possibility. It’s a welcoming environment created by the energetic, service-oriented people who live and work at this 130-acre Gaithersburg, Md., continuing care retirement community. In 2016, Asbury and its partner Sodexo, which provides facilities and dining management on the campus, committed to helping the broader Montgomery County community through their new partnership with Community Food Rescue (CFR).
Three times each week, Asbury’s chefs pack up surplus, healthy, and safe prepared food—fish, chicken, and beef entrees, rice, pasta, potatoes and vegetable side dishes and soups. All the food is frozen and easy to transport by CFR volunteer food runners. The meals are delivered to CFR network food assistance organizations including, Seneca Heights Apartments, permanent supportive housing, The Montgomery Coalition for the Homeless serving their men’s shelter, Family Services, Inc. serving clients receiving mental health care and to Interfaith Works serving formerly homeless women with mental disabilities in transitional housing.“Our clients just love the food and we’re very appreciative of how delicious and healthy this food is for our clients,” said Sarah Cherner, Program Assistant at Interfaith Works.
Thanksgiving is over and for many of us getting creative with leftovers – or wishing we had more of them – is top of mind. But as we continue this season of festive holiday gatherings and rejoice with colleagues, friends and family, we should remember that as many as 70,000 people in Montgomery County are worried about where their next meal will come from.
The Community Food Rescue network and innovative matching app is helping to close the hunger gap in our community by connecting food businesses of all kinds – catering companies, food markets, farms, restaurants, schools and more – with those who will benefit greatly from their unserved or unsold food.
This holiday season, whether you’re a local business, an individual, family or nonprofit looking for ways to help struggling neighbors, CFR has some easy suggestions for how to put more meaning into your holiday! (Bonus benefit – you’ll also be reducing food waste, a huge global problem that contributes to climate change!)