This post is brought to you in collaboration with The Motherhood and 412 Food Rescue. All opinions, thoughts and images are my own.
Last Friday, these three beauties and I had the opportunity to do a food drop for a nonprofit organization called 412 Food Rescue. Have you ever done a service project with your little ones? Even though my hubs is super active in the corporate philanthropy and community giving world (it’s his career) we haven’t yet had the opportunity to share one of those volunteer experiences with our children. It was incredibly eye opening for them to deliver surplus food from our local grocery store to a nearby family center.
I’m not going to lie, this whole thing brought up some really tough questions, especially from Lilly. When you’ve never had to go without its tough to wrap your head around how 1 in 7 people could be going hungry, right now, right around your own neighborhood. How children go home from school on Fridays with food anxiety because they don’t know if they’ll have a good meal until the following Monday. It’s tough to wrap your head around the simple fact that 40% of food produced is simply wasted. With so many people going hungry this is an unacceptable statistic, one I’m really proud to say people in Pittsburgh are looking to change. Luckily there are so many places that are willing and able to donate their surplus food with the help of 412 Food Rescue before it is wasted. Lilly asked me so many hard questions about the place where we delivered the food, the people who lived there. So many questions about W H Y they didn’t have enough food to begin with. “How does that happen?” she kept saying. I realized how few first-grade-appropriate answers I had ready to give her.
412 Food Rescue was developed in 2015 and currently has a growing corps of over 2,000 volunteers in the Pittsburgh region. These volunteers have recovered over 1 million pounds of food from over 200 retailers and donated to over 250 nonprofits. Because of the success of the organization they have been able to develop a really cool app that facilitates organized and easy food drops. You enter your location and a few other preferences and are all set to be notified when a new food drop run is needed. If you see the notification and are able- you can select to take care of the drop and deliver the food from point A to point B. How cool is that? I was able to complete our food delivery from the grocery store to the family center in an hour. With all three kids! They helped every step of the way, in the pouring rain no less.
In November 2016, 412 Food Rescue launched this app “Food Rescue Hero” to coordinate its volunteer driver network. This “Uber of Food Rescue” was covered in NPR in February–leading to over 200 inquiries from other cities on how they can bring the same model of food recovery in their region. The app is available for download on iOS and Android.
To download the app for iPhone CLICK HERE.
To download the app for Android CLICK HERE.
There is also a tutorial you can view for using the app – click HERE to find it.
Above is an example of an alert you may receive from the app. Genius!
In 2017, 412 Food Rescue is set to hit two million pounds of food rescued and gearing up to launch its technology in other cities.
In less than two years, 412 Food Rescue has been recognized nationally as a leader in food recovery. In December 2016, ReFed—the nation’s premier think tank on food waste—featured 412 Food Rescue in its first “Innovator” profile and in January 2017, The Rodale Institute—the nation’s leader in organics advocacy—featured 412 Food Rescue in its “100 Amazing Things” issue of Organic Life Magazine. 412 Food Rescue was also included in FoodTank’s “117 Organizations to Watch in 2017” and “Top 59 organizations fighting food loss and waste.”
If you’re interested in helping 412 Food Rescue with your own family go ahead and download the app right now!
Let’s share the amazing things our city is doing with our children and teach them about love, service and community.
If you do a food rescue be sure to use these hashtags #412foodrescue, #FoodRescueHeroes, #EndFoodWaste, #EndHunger, #FoodWaste on social media to help other people find out about 412 Food Rescue and get as many people involved in this effort as possible!
Also- share this post on your Facebook wall to win a really cool 412 prize pack! Items to win include a t-shirt, an apron, a bag and stickers. Comment on this post letting me know you shared to be entered.
If a crazy Mama of three with 8 chickens living in her office and a dog roaming around like a dope can manage a Food Rescue – you can do it too!
Have a great weekend!