why-waste-food-wednesday-carrotFood Waste

The Mighty Carrot: Don’t Waste It

#WHY WASTE FOOD WEDNESDAY

Carrots are a hearty vegetable with so many nutrients that it is impossible not to use every bit! Here are some tips to keep you storing and preparing the best possible way without waste.

Storing Carrots

Remove the tops of carrots if you buy them with the green leaves attached.  Keep them in a plastic bag in the coolest part of your refrigerator for about two weeks.  And a warning: keep carrots away from apples and potatoes—their gasses will make your carrots bitter.

Another interesting storage tip is that you can store carrots in empty, cleaned milk cartons.  Seal it shut and they should last longer.

Recipes Galore

  • Peel your carrots, slice them into rounded coins and toss them into a mixture of butter and honey.  Make sure they are fully coated and then roast them in the oven for about 30 minutes at 350.  Delicious hot or cold.
carrots roasted with honey
  • Shred your carrots and put them in your salads, sprinkle them on top of sandwiches for an added crunchy bite.
  • Mashed carrots can be eaten alone or blended with mashed potatoes.  If that doesn’t sound good, then sautee some onions in butter and throw in the mashed mixture.  Add ginger for a spicy taste.  The onions add a whole new dimension.
  • Shred your carrots and some beets and apples.  Blend the altogether with a little mayo for an amazing salad experience.
  • Blend up your carrots with apples and you have an incredible smoothie to get your day started!

Don’t Waste Carrots

Soup is nothing without carrots so if you have some lying around then add them to any broth you are making.  Their sweetness adds a nutritional dimension to any type of soup.  Plus pureed carrot soup is wonderful!

And of course, if all else fails, slice up the carrots into sticks and snack on them.  Don’t like raw?  Then steam them.  The flavor of steamed carrots is exceptional!

40% of carrots are thrown into the trash—which means all the water that went into growing them is also thrown out.  Try new ways of preparing these nutritious vegetables.  Your body will be happy and so will the earth!

Adding carrots to soup is delicious

If you have any interesting tips for preparing food to avoid waste, send them to us at marketing@foodfinders.org

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going bananas about food wasteFood Waste

Going Bananas Over Food Waste

#WHY WASTE FOOD WEDNESDAY

What is the Impact of Uneaten Food?

When food goes uneaten and is thrown away, all the resources that went into preparing that food go to waste as well. Think about water for a moment…without water, we cannot live, and yet, when there is an ugly, over-ripe banana on the counter we can toss it in the trash without a thought.

About 5-gallons of water per day is required for one banana tree.

One banana tree takes about 9-months to produce bananas

Over the 270 days it takes to produce bananas, that tree will use over 1,300 gallons of water.

Americans throw away 5 billion bananas every year!

That means billions of gallons of water are thrown away too!

Let’s Make Eating Bananas Fun & Easy with Banana “Ice Cream”

Sarah, A flavor-loving nutritionist at Live-Eat-Learn posted a great recipe for all those ripe to over-ripe bananas you are considering tossing into a landfill. With just one ingredient and a great how-to recipe, we can show you how to prevent good food from being tossed away.

1-Ingredient Ice Cream. source: live-eat-learn

The Uglier, The Better!

If you are lucky enough to have bananas at home that look like the “over-ripe” picture above–then you are in for a real treat! The darker the banana peel, the sweeter the flavor of ice cream. Plus, that means you don’t need to add any sweeteners to make a delicious dessert.

Recipe

Step 1: Chop your bananas into chunks and lay them in a single layer on a parchment-lined plate or tray. It’s important that you peel the bananas before freezing! Bananas will take about 2 hours to freeze.

Tip: this is a great way to save bananas for later. source: live-eat-learn

Step 2: Let the bananas thaw a bit (just 5 minutes or so), which will make them slightly easier to blend, then throw them into a heavy-duty blender or food processor. Even an electric hand mixer will work.

source: live-eat-learn

Step 3: To get this delicious treat blending more easily, you can do a few things. Either let the bananas thaw a bit so they do not rock solid, or add a splash of milk (any milk will do!) until things start moving. Scrape the sides and push the ice cream down into the blades of the blender or food processor until you get a smooth, soft-serve consistency.

source: live-eat-learn

Step 5: Storage of all food is critical so to store this banana ice cream, cover it in plastic wrap (or transfer it to an airtight container), and freeze. When ready to eat again, let it soften on the counter for a few minutes before scooping.

Storage is important. source: live-eat-learn

Variety Makes This Even More Delicious

Vanilla: Use the base recipe then add ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract and a pinch of salt.

Tropical: Use 3 frozen bananas, ½ cup of frozen mango, and ½ cup of frozen pineapple. Instead of using milk to blend, add a splash of orange or pineapple juice.

Mocha: Use the base recipe then add 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder, 1 teaspoon of instant coffee, and a handful of chocolate chips.

Peanut Butter: Use the base recipe and then add 2 large tablespoons of peanut butter.

#StopFoodWasteWednesday

Nourishing ourselves is important for a long healthy life but there are many people around us who cannot afford to buy food that will feed their whole family so don’t be wasteful! Buy what you need and store safely what you cannot eat before it goes bad. And share your favorite 1-Ingredient recipes with us and PLEASE SHARE

Food Finders, Inc

To learn more about Food Finder’s food rescue programs please reach out to us by visiting our contact page: https://foodfinders.org/contact-us/

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time for spring cleaning food driveEvents

It’s Time For Spring Cleaning

Let’s Gear Up for “Summer To End Hunger” Food Donation Event

Springtime is the best season to think about cleaning out cabinets and drawers and we want to help you make room for summer with some ideas to feel better and make an impact!

Your Kitchen Cupboards Called to Say: “Help!”

Overstocked with Pandemic shutdown “hoarding,” our cupboards may be filled with too much food. Check the labels and start putting food items in a box that are not going to get used. Donating overstocked non-perishable foods are a wonderful way to organize and make an impact in your community.

Food Drives Help To Feed People With The Most Need

So much of our foods get thrown away when they can be donated and redistributed through organizations like Food Finders. See our Food List below

When You Donate Food To Avoid Food Waste and Help The Environment

Food banks are especially important in the food distribution process.  They work with their local communities to ensure that everyone has access to healthful foods. They solicit, receive, store, and distribute fresh produce (when available) and pantry staples (like the foods we are listing below). 

Food Banks and Pantries help people get connected to other essential benefits and serve as community hubs for volunteers who are serving their local communities.

How To Host A Food Drive

Any business, community center, Library, retailer, or city location can host a food drive.  Food Finders will provide a storage bin, signage, and donation food lists. Food Finders will also arrange to pick up all the collected food items from you! 

Email meden@foodfinders.org or give Mark a call at 562-283-1400 Ext 117.

Food Drive

What Kinds of Food Can You Donate?

1.  Applesauce

Plastic jars of unsweetened applesauce serve as a great quick snack with just enough fiber and vitamin C. Applesauce is also a smart choice because it preserves well on food bank shelves.

2. Canned Beans

Full of protein and fiber, canned beans offer a superb and nourishing way to fill an empty tummy. Try to look for low-sodium variations whenever available.

3. Canned Chicken

While canned chicken may seem like a simple choice, it is high in protein content and can be a perfect item for those on the go. Additionally, its versatility makes it a popular item at food banks. Try adding this non-perishable item into soups, casseroles, sandwiches, or crackers!

4. Canned Meat (SPAM and Ham)

Do you have some extra SPAM or canned ham? If so, make sure to drop it off at your local food donation site. It’s shelf-stable, does not require much preparation or equipment to eat, and provides a quick source of protein that keeps individuals feeling full for longer periods of time.

5. Canned Fish (Tuna and Salmon)

Canned fish has various vitamins, especially omega-3 fatty acids and protein. Many food banks are in need of canned tuna and salmon because it makes for such a convenient and easy meal.

6. Canned Vegetables

Residents in need are continuously requesting lively, nutrient-dense, and fiber-rich vegetables. Make sure to grab low-sodium options. Canned variations also last the longest on a food bank’s shelves. Food banks frequently hand out recipes that utilize the items they have in stock. 

7. Crackers

Are an ideal snack or can be used as a base for canned proteins. They are also shelf-stable and portable, making them perfect for snacks and lunches. Whole-grain crackers are the best bet.

8. Cooking Oils (Olive and Canola)

Food banks heavily depend on these essential and costlier items to be donated. Canola and olive oils are the preeminent choices because of their monounsaturated fats and minor flavor. 

9. Dried Herbs and Spices

It is hard to cook a flavorsome meal without herbs and spices. So, drop a few in your shopping cart to donate! We suggest sticking to the fundamentals: oregano, basil, salt, pepper, rosemary, thyme, and cinnamon.

10. Fruit (Canned or Dried)

Fruit, whether dried, canned or in plastic cups can make superb snacks for young children and adults. Select those that are packaged in water or fruit juice instead of sugary syrups.

11. Nuts

With a handful of nuts, they deliver protein and nutrients instantaneously, which has made them perfect for snacks and lunches. Food banks have a difficult time obtaining them due to their higher price, so they heavily rely on donations. Go for unsalted varieties when possible.

12. Granola Bars

Food banks are continuously in need of fast and easy items that families can throw into lunches or eat on the go. Granola bars are the answer. Try to look for the ones that have fewer grams of sugar, made with oats, or other whole grains.

13. Instant Mashed Potatoes

Instant potatoes last a very long time and require minimal cooking tools and ingredients. They are also a beloved staple item in every age group, making an item that goes quickly off Food Banks’ shelves. 

14. Grocery Meals in a Box

An entire meal that’s shelf-stable and in one package is the best way to nourish a hungry tummy. It is very popular with those who do not have a stocked kitchen or tools needed to prepare a meal. The best options are pasta, rice, and soup kits (particularly those that are lower in sodium and higher in fiber and protein). 

15. Pasta

In Food banks, pasta is a staple item since it can be easily turned into a meal. Opt for whole-grain selections that offer more fiber and nutrition compared to white pasta.

16. Peanut Butter

Peanut butter is a high source of protein that can be eaten alone or combined with other food items. Since both children and adults like it, peanut butter is easily one of the most desired items at food banks.

17. Rice

This popular item is filling, versatile, easy to prepare, and store. Consider substituting white rice for brown rice instead because it is a healthier option with much more fiber to offer. Quinoa is another great alternative item to donate if feasible.

18. Shelf-stable and Powdered Milk

The best part of this item is that no refrigeration is required to keep it fresh, which makes it available to everyone. More importantly, milk delivers a much-needed source of calcium and protein (especially for a developing child).

19. Whole Grain Cereal

This is another popular item with all age groups. Whole-grain cereal makes for a healthy and quick breakfast or snack. Some selections are low in sugar and high in fiber that helps provide nutrients to good digestive bacteria, which then release substances that help lower levels of inflammation body-wide.

20. Honey

This is a sweet, viscous food substance that can be used as a natural sweetener. It is rich in antioxidants and propolis, which each promote burn and wound healing. It can also be used to help suppress coughing in children. 

21. Soup, Stew, and Chili

These substances act as a warm and satisfying lunch or dinner. You can find these items in canned or packaged form and they are often sold as a complete meal with protein (meat) and veggies. If possible, attempt to find reduced-sodium alternatives.

What to skip when donating to your local food bank:

  • Junk food (chips, cookies, candy) 
  • Packaged items with glass or cellophane (these can be easily broken in transit)
  • Items that require can openers or cooking equipment
    • Instead, try to donate pop-top cans–whether for veggies, meat or fruit

Start Your Own Food Drive with Food Finders Help. Learn More https://foodfinders.org/event/summer-to-end-hunger-food-drive/

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recipes in a bag-blogFood Waste

Food 4 Kids Maruchan Noodle Bag

How do you take 16 ingredients in a bag and turn it into nutritious meals over a two-day weekend? You ask our intern Kelly!

Kelly is a nutrition student at California State University, Long Beach CSULB. Every week we have been challenging her to head out to the Food Finder’s Warehouse, empty one Food 4 Kids bag, take photos, and then come back with recipes to feed a family over the weekend nutritiously.

Nutrition Is In Our Mission

Food Finders has a mission to eliminate hunger and food waste, but did you know that we also have a part 2? “….while improving nutrition in food insecure communities.” It is critically important that people eat nutritious meals. Our bodies need nutrition to get up out of bed, get on the bus to school, and then our brain has to be ready to learn—you need nutritious food to do that!

Kelly has a talent for taking all the ingredients sorted and packed into our Food 4 Bags, and craft some delicious and easy recipes for a family to prepare over the weekend. Keep in mind that she is assuming there are no other ingredients in the house, so anything you add to the mix will boost the nutrition even more! The beautiful part of these recipes below is that you can make nutritious food from simple ingredients when you think outside of the box.

Oatmeal with Fruit Topping

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

  • Oatmeal packet
  • Fruit mix or fruit cup

Instructions:

  1. Cook oatmeal packet as directed and top with 1/3 of drained mix fruit or 1 fruit cup
  2. Enjoy!

Tuna and Black Bean Casserole

Tuna and Black Bean Casserole

Servings 4

Tuna is good for you and is a rich source of lean protein and omega-3 fatty acids. Combined with the black beans that are rich in fiber, potassium, folate and B6 as well as its phytonutrient content and no cholesterol supports heart health.

Ingredients:

  • 3 packages of chicken flavored Maruchan noodles prepared per package instructions leaving one seasoning packet out and drain majority of the fluid.
  • 1 can of tuna, drained
  • 1 can of black beans, drained
  • 1 can of mixed vegetables, drained
  • 1 can of tomato soup

Instructions:

  1. Place cooked noodles, tuna, black beans, tomato soup and can of mixed vegetables in a pot.
  2. Bring to a simmer and cook until heated through.
  3. Eason to taste
  4. Garnish with anything available such as cheese, hot sauce, cilantro, onion and sliced radishes.

Tuna and Tomato Noodle Casserole with Green Beans

Servings 4

Tuna is good for you and is a rich source of lean protein and omega-3 fatty acids.

Ingredients:

  • 3 packages of chicken flavored Maruchan noodles prepared per package instructions draining the majority of the liquid.
  • 1 can of tuna, drained
  • 1 can of green beans, drained
  • 1 can of tomato soup 

Instructions:

  1. Place cooked noodles, tuna, green beans and tomato soup in a pot.
  2. Bring to a simmer and cook until heated through.
  3. Season to taste
  4. Garnish with anything available such as cheese, hot sauce, cilantro, onion and sliced radishes.

Chips and Dip

Servings approximately 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 can of refried beans
  • 1 Chicken seasoning packet
  • 1 bag of potato chips

Instructions:

  1. Place refried beans in a bowl.
  2. Mix in the chicken seasoning packet thoroughly.
  3. Feel free to add cheese if available.
  4. Dip chips and enjoy!

The Food 4 Kids Program is an amazing collaboration of the City of Long Beach and Food Finders. To learn more here

If you would like to volunteer to help us sort and pack Food 4 Kids bags at our warehouse, contact our Volunteer Coordinator, Kevin Burciaga, kburgiaga@foodfinders.org

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Events

Food Finders Kicks Off its 33rd Birthday Month

April marks our 33rd Birthday at Food Finders!

On April 1st, to kick off the month, we launched our annual Birthday Campaign to help grow our food rescue operations. When you think about all that has happened over 33 years—one woman starting to collect food in her garage to now where we are rescuing food with refrigerated trucks then sorting and packing donated food in a square food warehouse—we are certain to meet all of our goals and make an impact on reducing food waste and hunger here in Southern California!

Growth in our 33rd year is a priority. Now more than ever we are working together to make a strong social impact that will affect future generations to come!

Growing Our Food Operations

As you may know, our mission here at Food Finders is to eliminate hunger and food waste through food rescue. This operation is led by our wonderful team of passionate and dedicated volunteers, donors, partner agencies, community members–and of course, an incredible group at our office and warehouse in Los Alamitos. This month we will be highlighting a different aspect of our operations each week and spotlighting key team members who run the operation.

What is the overall goal?

Our goal is to raise $75,000 towards our food rescue operations. While I know this may seem like a large amount of money, it is going to a good cause. In 2021, for example, we had a goal to raise $50,000 and our grand total was $62,454–a huge success that allowed us to rescue 15, 917, 982 Pounds of Food!!

2022 Business Types for food donations

Our focus for this year is on our operations.

In 2022, the State of California SB- 1383 went into effect. SB 1383’s statute requires businesses in certain categories to begin the repurposing of not less than 20% of edible food that they currently dispose of be recovered for human consumption.

We have a new Food Acquisitions Team to meet the demand: Tray Turner and Mark Eden, who are out meeting with our current Food Donors while also updating our processes and adding in new businesses each day.

In the month of January, our Food Acquisitions department started off with some amazing numbers:

Food Finders Rescued – 1,238,000 Pounds of Food – that is over 1 Million Meals that were delivered by our non-profit partners in January 2022. And in addition to rescuing and repurposing food (that normally would have ended up in a landfill), we also helped planet Earth 672,410 Pounds of CO2 diverted as well as 564,675,000 Gallons of water saved!

Inside the Food Finders Warehouse

Warehouse Sorting Bins

The Food Finders Warehouse is a busy place. On any given day, there will be volunteers sorting and packing bags or boxes while trucks are pulling up in the back to deliver pallets of food. Without our invaluable warehouse team, though, we would not be able to rescue as much food as we have in the past 33 years that Food Finders has been operating.

Cesar Herrera, our Warehouse Manager, runs the show where he is constantly moving and shifting around staple food items to our food programs. These items significantly increase depending on the time of day, week or year. Last week, we had Fox News Channel 11 visit us to talk about our work and relationship with the Kaiser Permanente Food Donors.

Our Birthday Milestone is Important

With your birthday donations last year, we were able to continue to grow as COVID was winding down, and this year we are on track to grow our team, update and purchase more food delivery trucks, and rescue more food as the demand from businesses rises in 2022.

Make a donation below or Text: FF33Bday to 71444.

Want Another Way To Help Us Make An Impact?

In the digital age it is so easy to support and advocate for Food Finders.

The largest Social Media Network, Facebook, has a great personal fundraising tool that gives each one of us the power to make change by enlisting our family and friends in the fight against hunger, food waste and the resulting global problems from both.

Start A Personal Fundraiser

facebook-fundraising-for-food-finders

Facebook Fundraising

If you invited 10 friends to donate $10 to your “Fight Hunger” fundraiser, you would be providing 11,000 meals to help fight food insecurity in your community.

Visit this link for step by step instructions on how to set up a birthday fundraiser on Facebook.

Mobile Fundraising

For those of you who do not have a Facebook page, use your Mobile Phone!

Here is a link to the Food Finders Crowdfunding Page. The process is the same–set up your personal page and ask 10 friends to make a $10 (or more) donation to help us continue to rescue food and help to feed the communities in our neighborhood.

Celebrate Our 33 Years

Stay tuned during the entire month of April to learn about each part of our Food Rescue Operations. Start your fundraiser, or reach out to us to volunteer! Everything we do makes an impact.

Nicole Swayne is a Digital Marketing Intern at Food Finders. She is a student at Cal State Long Beach.

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Food Waste

Make This Yummy Snack in 5 Easy Steps

Why Waste Food Wednesday

DID YOU KNOW: Fruit is one of the most wasted produce items because it is the fastest to ripen? 🤔

Preventing food from going to waste is one of the easiest and most powerful actions you can take to save money and help the planet Earth to flourish for generations to come!

In fact, the benefits of preventing food waste from ending up in our landfills are quite compelling:

  • Helps us save our money
  • Reduces our carbon footprints
  • Preserves energy and resources
  • Lowers the price of produce and other products made with fruits and vegetables
  • Creates opportunities for food security in low-income communities

So what can you do with some aging apples and a mushy strawberry or two?

Fruit Jam

For our #WhyWasteFoodWednesday post we want to share a quick recipe on how to repurpose parts of your fruit that are often easily discarded. With our recipe for a fresh fruit jam you can put those apple cores and strawberry tops to good use! 🍓 🍎

INGREDIENTS LIST

💚 6 Apples (Cores & Peels only)

💚 3  ½ oz Strawberry Tops 

💚 1 cup of water 

💚 ½ Lemon Juice 

💚 1 cup Superfine Sugar (or Powdered Sugar can work as well)

Now it’s time for preparation! Make sure to follow the steps below. 

5 STEPS FOR PREPARATION:

Step 1: Place ingredients into a medium saucepan and bring to a boil.

Step 2: Simmer for 20-25 minutes on low heat and mix occasionally until the fruit is completely dissolved.

Step 3: Remove from heat when liquid thickens and scoop out any excess apple cores or strawberry tops.

Step 4: Pour jam into a jar and leave to close (without lid). 

Step 5: Keep refrigerated and enjoy with your favorite bread for up to 2 weeks.

Now Enjoy!

If you have a recipe you would like to share with us for #WhyWasteFoodWednesday, please email mbereket@carly-bragg

If you would like to make an impact on reducing food waste and hunger help us grow our food rescue operations: Donate

#foodfindersinc  #FoodRescue #reducehunger #foodrecovery #Volunteer #Charity #helpfoodinsecurecommunities #HelpEndHunger #EndHunger #fightinghunger #rescuingfood #Donate #makeanimpact

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Food 4 Kids Program

Making Nutritious Meals: Food 4 Kids Program

Several studies show that nutrition can directly affect the mental capacity of school-aged children. For example, iron deficiency, even in early stages, can negatively impact cognition. Good Nutrition helps students show up at school prepared to learn–and learning is the foundation of how children can grow into healthy and productive adults. Because improvements in nutrition help to make students healthier, they are more likely to have fewer absences and attend class more frequently. When children are not given nutritious meals, studies show that malnutrition leads to behavior problems in the classroom.

Hunger is not just something we must look at as a social issue. It is an economic one. If we know that children can do better in school when fed nutritious food, perhaps we can see the benefit of these same children growing up to lift themselves up and out of poverty to financial independence. Food is more than just hunger, it is a vehicle to elevate entire communities.

Turning A Bag of Food Into A Meal

Contents of one Food 4 Kids Bag

Kelly Alarcon, a Cal State Long Beach Nutrition student who interns at Food Finders loves to talk about the importance of having nutritious meals. She helps the Partner Agency Coordinators to receive food from our Food donors and also helps with pack and sorts for the Food 4 Kids program. The above photo was taken from one bag that was being packed up so that it could be delivered to one of the 15 Title 1 Schools in Long Beach.

Kelly asked if she could take a picture and use her nutrition skills to craft some recipes that could help families extend the meals while also providing a nutritious option. Her studies paid off!

Here is the first bag of recipes we would like to share:

Contents and Nutrition

Tuna 5.4 oz. = 2 packs 140 calories, 17g protein, 0.5g fat, 0 carbs
Instant oatmeal = 2 packs 320 calories; 8 g protein, 4g fat, 66g carbs
Kool Aid Juice Jammer = 1 90 calories, 0 protein, 0 fat, 24 carbs
Canned corn, whole kernel = 2 120 calories; 2g protein, 2g fat, 26g carbs
Black beans = 2 cans 350 calories; 24.5 g protein, 0 fat, 63 carbs
Granola bar = 1 140 Calories; 3g protein, 4 g fat, 25 carbs
Vegetable soup = 1 can 130 calories; 4g protein, 2.5 g fat, 22g carbs
Diced tomatoes = 1 can 88 calories; 3.5 g protein, 0g fat, 17.5 g of carbs
Canned fruit = 2 cans 230 calories; 0g protein, 0g fat, 59g
Boxed mac n cheese = 1 box 875 Calories; 32.5g Fat, 25g protein, 118g carbs

Weekend Meals Recipes

Meal #1: Cheesy Tuna Casserole

Serves 2-3 people

Ingredients To Use:
1- Box mac n cheese
1 – Pack of tuna drained
1 – Can of corn drained

Directions:

  1. Prepare boxed mac n cheese as directed, setting aside ¼ of the noodles for another recipe, and feel free to use any milk, nut milk or water.
  2. Mix all ingredients and serve.

Meal #2: Black Bean, Tomato and Corn Salad

Serves 2-3

Ingredients To Use:
1 – Cans of black beans drained
1 – Can of diced tomatoes drained
1 – Can of corn drained

Directions:

  1. Take all rinsed ingredients and toss in a bowl.
  2. Season as desired
  3. Serve hot or cold

Meal #3: Tuna and Noodle Soup with a Side of Fruit

Serves 1-3

Ingredients to Use:
1 – Cans of vegetable soup
½ Cup of water
1 – Pack of Tuna Drained
1-Can of fruit
Remainder of noodles from boxed Mac n Cheese

Directions:

  1. Place all ingredients in a pot on the stove mixing and heating
  2. Enjoy with side of fruit from the can

Meal # 4: Oatmeal with Fruit

Serves 2-3

Ingredients to Use:

2- Packs of Instant Oatmeal

1-can of fruit drained

Directions:

  1. Prepare instant oatmeal according to package directions
  2. Cut fruit into bite size pieces and top oatmeal with it or eat as a side.

Snack

Juice

Granola Bar

***************************

We look forward to more recipes from Kelly. If you do make any of these, please share your photos of the preparation and completed meal! Email us at mbereket@foodfinders.org

Helping Food 4 Kids

Prior to COVID, the Food 4 Kids Program was delivering 385 bags of food every week to 15 Title 1 Long Beach Elementary Schools. In many cases, these bags of food provided families with their only weekend food option. Support from donors helped us to serve over 10,780 meals per week to families.

Long Beach Unified School District reached out to Food Finders in January with a request to restart the program and add 12 High School Student Wellness Centers to the original Title 1 Schools. Supporting this program would mean that together we can serve 21,560 meals per week by delivering over 770 bags of food to families in Long Beach. It is a good start to elevating so many families!

To Help Support the Food 4 Kids Program click here

If you would like to make an impact on reducing food waste and hunger help us grow our food rescue operations: Donate

#foodfindersinc  #FoodRescue #reducehunger #foodrecovery #Volunteer #Charity #helpfoodinsecurecommunities #HelpEndHunger #EndHunger #fightinghunger #rescuingfood #Donate #makeanimpact

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why-waste-food-wedesday-avocadoFood Waste

#Why Waste Food Wednesday: Avocado Pesto

The Avocado, delicious and finicky! It is hard to know when they are ripe, and then–they are over-ripe. Or are they? Too many avocados are tossed in the trash when they could be repurposed into something else delicious and highly nutritious. While overripe avocados are not great for slicing, they’re actually easier to mash or purée than ripe avocados, which comes in handy if you’re trying to make dips and spreads.

Before I get to the recipe: How do you know when it is still good to eat an avocado that has gone from green to brown? The real trick is your nose. If an avocado smells bad, then do not eat it. Brown does not mean it is not nutritious. An isolated brown spot may be due to bruising, rather than widespread spoilage, and can be cut away. Mold is another sign that you cannot eat an over-ripe avocado. The bottom line is to smell before using.

Avocado Pesto

Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist

  • 1 large bunch fresh basil
  • 2 ripe avocados
  • ½ cup walnuts or hemp seeds
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice 
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Ground pepper to taste

Directions

Instructions Checklist

  • Step 1 Strip basil leaves from the stems and add to a food processor along with avocados, walnuts (or hemp seeds), lemon juice, garlic and salt; pulse until finely chopped. Add oil and process to form a thick paste. Season with pepper.

Tips

Make Ahead Tip: Press a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface to prevent browning and refrigerate for up to 5 days.

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 2-Tbsp.Per Serving: 126 calories; protein 1.1g; carbohydrates 3g; dietary fiber 2g; sugars 0.3g; fat 12.8g; saturated fat 1.7g; vitamin a iu 236.2IU; vitamin c 4.1mg; folate 26.4mcg; calcium 13.9mg; iron 0.4mg; magnesium 14.9mg; potassium 151.2mg; sodium 37.1mg.Exchanges: 

2 1/2 fat

Recipe Source: https://www.eatingwell.com/recipe/251078/avocado-pesto/

If you would like to make an impact on reducing food waste and hunger help us grow our food rescue operations: Donate

#foodfindersinc  #FoodRescue #reducehunger #foodrecovery #Volunteer #Charity #helpfoodinsecurecommunities #HelpEndHunger #EndHunger #fightinghunger #rescuingfood #Donate #makeanimpact #Foodwaste #beafoodfinder #HungerHero #zerofoodwaste #avocado

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never-doubt-your-impactCommunity

Never Doubt Your Impact

There are many ways to make an impact on the world. Unfortunately, with all the messages being thrown at us via TV and social media, we begin to think that what we do as an individual isn’t that important.

At Food Finders, we can absolutely, without any reservations, tell you that one person can make a huge impact when working alongside others who believe in the same mission. For 33 years, this organization has been growing. From one idea, in one garage, with one woman who shared her mission with others. That power of one–with your help–fed thousands of families this month.

Arlene Mercer, founder of Food Finders

Think About the Entire Process Behind Our Mission

Eliminating Food Waste.
First, you must find places where food is being discarded–close to expiration date, or bruised apples for example. Then there must be a place to bring the food. It must be a place that can store or redistribute the food before it really goes bad. Once located, then there must be people in place who can pick up the food and deliver it. And finally, someone must be on the receiving end when that delivery arrives. It is all coordinated and ready to repeat Monday through Friday–week in and week out!

Food Donors: With Food Finders as their partner, Food donors are given an option to have someone come in and take food that would be thrown out, and now can be repurposed through donation elsewhere. By not throwing food away, our landfills are reduced, and then our C02 emissions begin to fall–which will impact us and future generations.

Community Partners: These are local non-profits that can take food donations. Food Finders works to find committed and caring organizations that work every day to eliminate hunger. Food Finders found the food and the means to deliver it. These partners are now reaching out to distribute this food allowing people in food-insecure communities to gather at home and prepare a nutritious meal for their families.

So many pieces are threaded thread together to make our mission a reality. It is not just technology, or vehicles, or reports, or boxes, but people! What makes this all work are people with a shared purpose. Each of us believes that eliminating food waste will change lives.

Our new community partner, Salas & Sons.

The Impact of All of Us

When people eat nutritious food, we all win! They feel better; they learn more and their lives improve because their bodies are nourished. In this process, each of us ensures that this goal, this shared mission, is served from beginning to end. Together we do this—one committed person handing off to another until the circle is closed, and we begin again tomorrow.

Every dollar donated creates 11 meals. One pick-up and delivery can turn into hundreds of meals
Never doubt that your efforts and contributions to Food Finders do not make an impact. They make all the difference to many people in your community every day!

Are you someone who is looking to make a greater impact in your community, then reach out to us at (562) 282-1400.

There are many ways in which you can help to impact the reduction of food waste and hunger:

#1 volunteer your time. It is your time, so why not use it to change your own community? learn more

#2 make a donation that will allow us to rescue more food and repurpose it: Donate

#3 share! Share our posts on Instagram or Facebook, or share this newsletter and page. Just sharing our message with others brings awareness and advocacy that can make a huge impact one day!

If you would like to make an impact on reducing food waste and hunger help us grow our food rescue operations: Donate

#foodfindersinc  #FoodRescue #reducehunger #foodrecovery #Volunteer #Charity #helpfoodinsecurecommunities #HelpEndHunger #EndHunger #fightinghunger #rescuingfood #Donate #makeanimpact #eliminatehunger #eliminatefoodwaste

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banana-why-waste-food-wednesdayFood Waste

Why Waste Food Wednesday: Ripe Bananas

#WhyWasteFoodWednesday

#1 Problem with fruit? The overripe banana. Don’t worry, it can be repurposed by
freezing them.🍌

Here is the process from the National Center For Home Food Preservation

Freezing Banana Preparation


✅Select firm ripe bananas.
✅Peel them
✅mash thoroughly.
✅Add 1/2 teaspoon (1500 mg) ascorbic acid per cup
of mashed banana.
✅Package in moisture-vapor resistant container.
✅Seal and freeze.
🍌🍌🍌🍌🍌

How To Use Frozen Bananas


✅Smoothies, pancakes, cookie dough, bread + Cover in chocolate for a delish snack.

Share any other repurposed recipes and ideas by commenting below.

If you would like to make an impact on reducing food waste and hunger help us grow our food rescue operations: Donate

#foodfindersinc  #FoodRescue #reducehunger #foodrecovery #Volunteer #Charity #helpfoodinsecurecommunities #HelpEndHunger #EndHunger #fightinghunger #rescuingfood #Donate #makeanimpact #whywastefoodwednesday #NationalCenterForHomeFoodPreservation

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Food Waste

Have An Eco-Friendly Super Bowl Party

1.4 Billion Chicken Wings on Sunday

Food is everything for those working to reduce waste and eliminate hunger. When we walk into a grocery store and see a bruised piece of fruit, we become sad thinking that this nourishing treat could end up in a landfill instead of a Food Bank serving food-insecure communities.

But on event days like Super Bowl Sunday? Well, last year over 40 million pounds of food were wasted —just from the stadium. The good news is that much of this stadium waste was rescued and repurposed because of a plan. This year, up to 120 Million people will be watching or attending the big game. That means there will be 1.4 Billion chicken wings sitting alongside an equal amount of chips, salsa, pigs in a blanket, and so much more!

Celebrate But Make It Zero Waste

We want you to have fun, but we also want you to have a plan! Throw your party and be mindful of the waste. Here are Eight Zero Waste Party Tips to enjoy the game and feel good that you are making an impact:

1. Have a Plan for Scraps of Food

If you live in California, you need a plan for food waste. SB-1383 requires you to compost! Have a bucket next to all the delicious foods clearly marked “COMPOST” so that your guests know what to do. Food accounts for a lot of what goes into landfills, so having a place to compost reduces that impact, and it helps to reduce our carbon footprint too! Learn more about SB-1383.

2. Don’t Use Plastic Plates, Cups or Utensils

Sure, we know it’s easier to toss out plates rather than wash them! Minimize cleanup by preparing dish stations with buckets full of soapy water for guests to use to soak dirty dishes. Put a little sign above the wash station: “40 Million Tons of Waste is Generated During the Super Bowl. Prevent waste-wash and rinse a plate.” [Not enough plates? Try Goodwill. You can recycle used containers for very little money.]

3. Use Reusable Bags

When shopping for the party, remember to bring your favorite reusable grocery and produce bags to the store with you to minimize plastic and paper bag usage! And if you forgot, get those plastic bags out and recycle them!

4. Pack It All Up in Reusable Containers

reusable glass containers

You know there are going to be leftovers, so plan ahead. Minimize the use of plastic baggies, plastic wrap, aluminum foil, and other disposable food storage items by packing leftovers in reusable containers. If you usually give leftovers away to guests, ask them to bring their own reusable containers to take food home in.

5. Forget All The Decorations

At the very least, could you keep it simple? You are there to watch the game, so save your money and focus on your team winning! And if you can’t live without a football-shaped table centerpiece, make it reusable. Your great-grandkids will be very grateful you did!

6. Label and Plan Your Trash Cans

Label Your Bins

There are two critical tricks to this part: First, clearly label waste receptacles, and second, put them in places that are easily accessible to guests. If they can’t see them, they won’t use them.

7. Let Everyone Know: Make Announcements

Just before the game starts, and then just before the first half-time commercial, announce the bins, the food scraps, and the reason why you are changing things up this year. Change happens when enough people speak up. Be the voice of change!

8. Repurpose Extra Food After The Game

Your Super Bowl planning probably included extra buns, chips, and produce. If you think it will go to waste, turn sour, or go uneaten–DONATE IT. Better to feed a group of seniors than to add to the landfill heap. Food Finders has a mission to rescue food, reduce hunger, and provide nutritious meals to food-insecure communities. That could be your mission too! Be a Food Rescue Hero

https://www.foodfinders.org/

Resources for Food Donations

For Ram’s Fans: Food Finders

USDA Donations

California Association of Food Banks

Cal Recycle

For Bengals Fans: Last Mile Food Rescue

If you would like to make an impact on reducing food waste and hunger help us grow our food rescue operations: Donate

#foodfindersinc  #FoodRescue #reducehunger #foodrecovery #Volunteer #Charity #helpfoodinsecurecommunities #HelpEndHunger #EndHunger #fightinghunger #rescuingfood #Donate #makeanimpact

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blog-why-waste-food-stale-bagel-recipeFood Waste

Why Waste Food Wednesday: Stale Bagels

How do you solve a problem like a “stale bagel”?

Repurpose it! And, if you do it right, you may just find that some recipes actually taste better when the bread is older. For our first #WhyWasteFoodWedesday recipe we have chosen bagels because in addition to being a totally fun food to repurpose, it also happens to be #BagelDay!

Bagel French Toast Recipe

This weeks recipe comes from All Recipes.

Prep: 5 mins

Cook: 15 mins

Additional: 30 mins

Total: 50 mins

Servings: 4

Yield: 4 servings

Nutritional Per Serving: 219 calories; protein 10.2g; carbohydrates 34.2g; fat 4.1g; cholesterol 95.4mg; sodium 352mg

Ingredients

Original recipe yields 4 servings

½ cup milk
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (Optional)
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon (Optional)
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg (Optional)
4 stale bagels, split
1 tablespoon powdered sugar, or to taste

Bagel French Toast

Instructions Checklist

  • Step 1 Beat milk, eggs, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and nutmeg together in a large, flat container.
  • Step 2 Place bagels, insides-down, into the egg mixture. Let sit for 30 minutes.
  • Step 3 Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add bagel slices and cook, working in batches if needed, until browned on both sides, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve warm.

Recipe Source: https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/280407/bagel-french-toast/

If you have a great repurposed food recipe to share please email mbereket@foodfinders.org

If you would like to make an impact on reducing food waste and hunger help us grow our food rescue operations: Donate

#foodfindersinc  #FoodRescue #reducehunger #foodrecovery #Volunteer #Charity #helpfoodinsecurecommunities #HelpEndHunger #EndHunger #fightinghunger #rescuingfood #Donate #makeanimpact

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Sustainable-Super-Bowl-2022Food Waste

Sustainable Super Bowl. Let’s All Do Our Part

The World is Watching This Week

The LA Rams did the city proud. The team won the championship and will be playing the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday, February 13th for the “Big Game.” It is an exciting time for the city, for this fairly new LA team, and for the new SOFI Stadium. With over 186 million fans gearing up for the big game we have an opportunity to shine in a more impactful way than touchdowns.

Product Waste

After Super Bowl LII (2018) between the Philadelphia Eagles vs. New England Patriots, sponsors worked together to compost, recycle or repurpose 40 tons of waste. (NBC NEWS) In the years since, stadiums around the country are working on sustainable initiatives to address waste. This is a good start to a very serious problem. 40 Tons of anything is HUGE!. 40 tons of “waste” demands a moment of reflection.

Think about that number for a moment….that is napkins discarded, cups lying under seats, overflowing trash, and all sorts of products that fans just toss away without thinking. It is also all those unused hamburger buns that cannot be used or baked goods that will go bad in a few days. Repurposing this “waste” turns something we don’t usually think about into something that might just make an impact.

Landfill (Wikipedia)

Food Waste

Food waste is a double-edged sword. Forget the stadium for a moment and think about the 186 million people watching the game at home. Do you think they are going to have just a little extra stuff after the game is over? Chicken wings, Jalapeno Poppers, Pizza? Food is a tradition for Super Bowl! Having lot’s of it just happens. Restaurants are prepping, the stadium vendors are prepping, even your Mom is prepping. Between the three of these game day chefs, there might just be an extra bag of buns and hotdogs that nobody wants to eat the day after.

In 2020 it was estimated that 10,000 hot dogs, 6,000 short ribs, and 2,700 lobster tails were served at the game. It was also estimated that 40,000 pounds of food was wasted–not served, unused but ready or prepared. Where does all that food come from? And what happens to it after the game?

For large events like the Super Bowl, food is the perk of VIP’s. Trays of shrimp and chips, salsa and finger foods that entice people to buy tickets, or just corporate offices inviting in top clients to enjoy the game. We are not judging the tradition! Who doesn’t love a buffet?! What we are asking of everyone this week is to be mindful of your food waste. No matter who you are rooting for (the Rams, of course) or where you are enjoying the game (stadium, VIP suite, Tailgate or your family room couch) plan ahead. Below is a list of ideas to get you thinking about making an impact with tips on reducing garbage and food waste.

First: Someone in 2021 That Got it Right

Here is a company that totally got it right at last years Super Bowl, Hellmann’s Mayo. I would like to start the week off with this incredible video as my inspiration for all the tips and tricks we will offer everyone hosting a “Big Game” party next Sunday.

Hellmann’s Tackles Food Waste, 2021 YouTube Video

Watch the Video

Plan Ahead To Reduce Waste

For those of you rooting for the Bengals: Our community partner and fellow food-rescuer, Last Mile Rescue is doing all that it can to rescue food and give to those most in need. Learn more about them and do your part to reduce food waste.

If you would like to make an impact on reducing food waste and hunger help us grow our food rescue operations: Donate

#foodfindersinc  #FoodRescue #reducehunger #foodrecovery #Volunteer #Charity #helpfoodinsecurecommunities #HelpEndHunger #EndHunger #fightinghunger #rescuingfood #Donate #makeanimpact

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4 Ways To Be Ready For SB 1383Food Waste

4 Ways To Be Ready For SB 1383

It’s almost here, the anticipated January 2022 kick off of the “all hands on deck” aspect of the organic recycling mandate, SB 1383. California will begin enforcing the donation, recycling and otherwise diversion from landfills of organic (much of which is food) waste.

As a food recovery nonprofit we’ll be focusing on the food aspect rather than the sticks and leaves part, and there’s much you can do, as a resident and as a business, to ensure your bins are divested of the usual food scraps and leftovers.

Let’s start with the most obvious, which is, use those edible parts up! The farm to table movement has taught us not just to eat locally, but hopefully

to clean your plate, and we mean that in the less literal sense, whether you’re making soup from bones or peels, squirreling away seeds to plant in a garden, or simply finding recipes that inspire using every last bit of an ingredient.

Next, and easy but not always done properly, is food storage. How often do you have every intention of cooking something but life shifts, and you find a sad head of cauliflower at the back of the fridge two weeks later or those leftover chicken wings protesting in silence, ignored and forgotten? It happens. But if you choose the right storage container, you can at least give those items a fighting chance to last another day or two longer than they would normally.

The largest amount of food waste happens at the consumer level, this we know. But, the newer options for home composting are coming fast and furious, and it’s possible that the compost bin will become as common on countertops as the toaster oven or coffeemaker. Yes, you have to find a place to put the table scraps after they sit in your kitchen composter, but the plan is for waste haulers to offer organic bins to help you dispose of it easily. For now, it’s no harder to toss strawberry tops and eggshells into a shiny thingy on your counter than on your floor. And if you do take it full circle, the outdoor compost receptacles are easily had and pretty simple to use.

Finally, and this especially goes for businesses, you can always donate what you can’t use! We’re talking safely edible items, of course. Did you buy too many bags of burger buns, have some canned goods about to expire that you can’t use, prep a pan of rice that went unserved? It can be donated to a nonprofit that feeds people rather than tossed. Food Finders serves more than 400 pantries, shelters, missions, and centers that can use the food that others can’t, and with 1 in 6 people experiencing hunger regularly, donations are highly encouraged.

Need more info? Be sure to contact us directly, 562-283-1400.

If you would like to make an impact on reducing food waste and hunger help us grow our food rescue operations: Donate

#foodfindersinc  #FoodRescue #reducehunger #foodrecovery #Volunteer #Charity #helpfoodinsecurecommunities #HelpEndHunger #EndHunger #fightinghunger #rescuingfood #Donate #makeanimpact

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Giving

A Trifecta of Giving With Food Finders

A donor of ours recently shared that he loves supporting Food Finders, which he started doing through his company giving campaign, then began volunteering as a food rescuer where he sees the program benefits firsthand. “It’s like I’m helping 3 organizations at once–Food Finders, the recipient, and the food donor.” It’s a wonderful testament on how to have a huge impact with a single focus.

We call it the Trifecta of Giving.

Food Finders’ mission is two-fold, which is to help reduce hunger and help the environment by rescuing food and reducing food waste. We tend to emphasize the former more than the latter in our messages and outcomes, but let’s look at some real and impactful numbers overall.

Food Finders provides an average of 30,000 meals worth of food…DAILY! Hard to imagine, but given that millions of pounds of fresh produce, dairy products, meats, prepared foods, baked goods, and nonperishables are donated annually, it adds up quickly, and the more donors realize we’re a resource, the more it adds up. Your donation, be it money or food or volunteer time, helps us run a well-oiled nonprofit and ensure we connect all the dots—or food–efficiently. So, you’re already a part of a bigger picture just by helping Food Finders.

Which leads us to the second arm of the trifecta — our partner agencies. Right now, we serve more than 550 nonprofit partners that are spread across four Southern California counties. That’s a huge reach. This includes large missions that feed hundreds of people daily down to small recovery homes that feed roughly a dozen people. When volunteers come and pack a few dozen food boxes or rescue a hundred pounds of fresh food, dozens of people in need can eat as a result, all in exchange for an hour or two of time. It also means those agencies providing the food directly can save some of their hard-earned funding to use on other services or spread their dollar farther. How rewarding is that?

When it comes to helping our more than 700 food donors, we’re more in demand now than ever. Many businesses are having to reduce their organic waste by 75%, per new state mandates. Restaurants, grocers, food distribution centers, and even a corporate kitchens, schools and hospitals must ensure that excess food is diverted, meaning composted, converted to animal feed, or our favorite, donated to feed people, because starting January, fines will be enforced. Many businesses are already a step-ahead and have been donating food overages for years. Saving money for our food donors so they can do the right thing is a no-brainer, and the third arm of our trifecta.

Sounds like a win-win-win so far!

But, wait, there’s more. Our environment appreciates your support as well. Imagine what it means when 16 million pounds of wholesome food is diverted from landfills? Thankfully, someone already calculated for us. It means 8.6 million pounds of Co2e are eliminated. It also equates to 7,296,000,000 (that’s not a typo) gallons of water saved. Food takes a lot of water to grow, plus labor and transportation to get it to market. You’re essentially helping our planet when you support Food Finders.

One final bonus—supporting our organization, you are helping YOU. Sharing a kindness keeps us well mentally and all around.

So, on behalf of everyone we serve, thank you for choosing to support Food Finders. Be well.

If you would like to make an impact on reducing food waste and hunger help us grow our food rescue operations: Donate

#foodfindersinc  #FoodRescue #reducehunger #foodrecovery #Volunteer #Charity #helpfoodinsecurecommunities #HelpEndHunger #EndHunger #fightinghunger #rescuingfood #Donate #makeanimpact

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Individual Spotlight

On Being Grateful

My son has been learning Latin on Babbel, a language app, and sometimes we discuss the roots of various words, since he also took French, and I took Spanish decades earlier. It’s fun to compare similarities in the languages. Since we are approaching the time of year when the word ‘Grateful’ is foremost on our minds, not to mention in stores teeming with Thanksgiving holiday décor, I became curious of its origin.

Grateful, it turns out, is rooted in the Latin word ‘gratus’ which originally meant pleasing or agreeable. What’s more, the word was at its highest usage back in 1800. From there its usage went steadily downhill. Around 1920 it started a resurgence, and in the past twenty years or so, ‘grateful’ has been on a steady upswing and is nearly back to the same high level of usage as in 1800. Humanity is #bringinggratefulback.

Despite the past couple of harrowing years that have included a pandemic, political upheaval, and rising mental health concerns, we’re frequently reminded to be grateful either via a myriad of articles, TEDTalks, and personal growth podcasts, or like when you notice gas prices rising but realize your commute was cut in half now that you work from home part of the week. Being reminded is good, because by noting what we’re grateful for we generate good vibes, a shift in our outlook, and potentially even more things to be grateful for. Kristi Nelson, we hear you.

At Food Finders we also hear words of thanks and gratefulness, and it’s rewarding to know people appreciate what we do as an organization. But what we love hearing even more is why they are grateful. The obvious answer is because they didn’t go hungry. Pressing further, we learn it’s much more. It might be because they are a student who could better focus on their studies that will ultimately help them attain a decent salary. Maybe they’re a single mother who could rest easy knowing her rent will be paid now that her food bill is less of an issue. It’s also the senior on a limited income who could live more comfortably because he didn’t have to choose between buying medication or food. There are countless benefits in the form of why they are grateful.

Our new campaign and mantra “more than just food” spotlights these benefits. We want to remind not just ourselves, but all of you who support us, we’re more to our recipients than a meal or a full pantry shelf. As a food rescue organization, we’re helping provide a sense of security, an opportunity for togetherness, and lasting well-being. Particularly during the holidays when food is a focal point of every event and celebration, we recognize that providing something as simple as a frozen turkey can make the difference between a jumble of stress and a joyful memory.

Writer Naomi Williams made a wonderful observation when she said, “It’s impossible to feel grateful and depressed in the same moment.” By providing food, we’re providing something that can make all the difference in people’s lives, one moment at a time. Maybe even longer.

You can help us continue providing more than just food by donating today.

If you would like to make an impact on reducing food waste and hunger help us grow our food rescue operations: Donate

#foodfindersinc  #FoodRescue #reducehunger #foodrecovery #Volunteer #Charity #helpfoodinsecurecommunities #HelpEndHunger #EndHunger #fightinghunger #rescuingfood #Donate #makeanimpact

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Food Finders News

The Learning Starts Now: Preventing Waste in Back-to-School Lunches

Summer has ended and schools have opened their doors to eager students (and parents!). It’s time to trade in the zoom classroom and at-home lunches, for a full blown in-person school experience that we’ve all been waiting for. It’s probably been a while since you thought about packing a lunch bag, so let us help you get started!  There are a multitude of ways that you can make your child’s lunch fun, yummy yet nutritious, and environmentally friendly.

The average American family throws out approximately 300 pounds of food a year, which equates to about $2,200. The easiest, yet most overlooked, method to help reduce this waste is meal planning. Planning out what food you need for the week before making your grocery store run can help you avoid any impulse purchases or overestimating quantity (which saves money!). If meal planning sounds time consuming and difficult to manage, there are apps available, such as MealBoard, that help you stay organized and on top of your schedule.

Bento lunch boxes are another method found to be useful for preventing waste. Their design provides separate sections that can be specified for a certain type of food. Having different sections makes the food not only look more appealing, but last longer and taste better. No kid wants to eat a sandwich that is squished against their fruit. Therefore, keeping them separate and fresh will likely encourage them to eat both! So many companies have taken on the bento- style of lunch boxes and added their own spin on them. One of the more popular brands is Bentgo, a lightweight, portable, stylish choice also safe for the environment. A key selling point—using ONE Bentgo consistently can keep 540 plastic sandwich bags out of our landfills each year!

In addition to our individual efforts, it is important to recognize the amazing work schools are doing to prevent waste and reduce hunger. Several schools in LA county have incorporated a Share Table Program where students can offer up their unopened food or drinks that they choose not to consume. This allows other students to add additional items to their lunch or snack, eliminating extra food waste. The act of sharing alone demonstrates how unwanted food does not have to be wasted. What may be undesirable for one child can be a treat for another.

Following these simple yet effective tips can make drastic improvement in not only your community, but your personal life as well! Additionally, if you know of a local school that would like to donate their overages, we will gladly pick up and redistribute those milks, apple slices and other unserved items and deliver to grateful after school centers and others who can ensure nothing goes to waste. Food Finders is here to help!

If you would like to make an impact on reducing food waste and hunger help us grow our food rescue operations: Donate

#foodfindersinc  #FoodRescue #reducehunger #foodrecovery #Volunteer #Charity #helpfoodinsecurecommunities #HelpEndHunger #EndHunger #fightinghunger #rescuingfood #Donate #makeanimpact

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Community

Flux Sucks – Goodwill Is A Good Antidote

The heat is on, the season is in full swing, and families, employers, and businesses are still in various stages of flux. If you’d bet the pandemic would last past a year, you’d be cashing in right now.

Some people are making the most of the situation and taking advantage of productive, remote working situations, building more downtime into their schedules to spend with family and friends, visits to the beach and even time to cook more meals.

But a few blocks from your house or even just a few doors away, there are people struggling to stay positive. Summer is especially stressful. For parents, it brings the question of who will provide childcare if it’s even available, or how do I ensure my children are engaged if they’re not in a camp, summer school or community program? At the most basic level—”How do I keep my family from going hungry?” is being asked by one in five families, particularly while there’s no access to school meal programs.

The Health Care Agency of Orange County, published a study late last year that showed an 83% increase in the number of children facing food insecurity compared to 2018. USC Dornsife’s Public Exchange released a report around the same time last year about hunger in L.A., reinforcing how children experiencing hunger “are at a higher risk for cognitive problems, anxiety and depression.” Recently congress submitted an update to legislation called the Stop Child Hunger Act, with the intention of making summer food support permanent rather than a year-by-year consideration.

There IS something you can do, and not only will it improve your own mental health but will make an immediate impact and provide some stability to others. Your donation to Food Finders’ Summer To End Hunger drive ensures struggling kids and their families can eat, alleviating the stress of affording food so they can focus on other expenses and needs. Whether you’re collecting canned goods or cash, you’re supporting hundreds of nonprofits that in turn are serving thousands of families.

There’s an entire month of our drive remaining to continue addressing this immediate need – don’t go it alone. Enlist your tribe, your team, your ten or so friends or family members and make an even bigger impact!

If you would like to make an impact on reducing food waste and hunger help us grow our food rescue operations: Donate

#foodfindersinc  #FoodRescue #reducehunger #foodrecovery #Volunteer #Charity #helpfoodinsecurecommunities #HelpEndHunger #EndHunger #fightinghunger #rescuingfood #Donate #makeanimpact

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Food Finders News

You’ve Got $1600 Right In Your Fridge!

About twenty or so years ago, when Food Network was first gaining traction, they featured a show called Door Knock Dinners, where the chef/host would “surprise” a family at random and demonstrate how to combine, for example, a head of cauliflower, two chicken breasts, basil that’s about to go bad and a cup of leftover beans in their fridge or pantry into a delicious meal. It was great inspiration for getting creative with ingredients on hand. It also, if indirectly, encouraged reducing food waste, which according to statistics is most prevalent at the consumer level.

Food Waste, even with smart fridges and grocery shopping apps at our disposal (pun intended), still remains an issue to the point that the USDA estimates each household throws out an average of $1600 worth of food per year. That’s at least another couple month’s-worth of groceries! Most people would like to think they are intentional shoppers, but even fastidious households or family cooks wind up with wilted lettuce or forgotten mashed potatoes at the back of their fridge at some point. In some cases, a good food storage set-up can make a world, and wallet-full, of difference, but there’s yet another challenge we face when it comes to reducing food waste.

Food labels and dates continue to be a bit of a consumer conundrum. We mostly use smell and taste tests at home, and when you see mold on your yogurt, probably best to toss it. But what do the best by, sell by, use by dates all mean? There’s no actual USDA federal regulation on any of it, but some states have their own standards in place. California passed a law that helps align with major food trade organizations in reducing confusion and offering consistent label definitions. One helpful resource is EatByDate, which provides guidelines of how long common perishable foods should last, and an alternate comprehensive list includes shelf-stable items.

So, while we’ve basically mastered how long our eggs, milk, and lunch are good for, there are always new products hitting the market that present a bit of a learning curve on shelf life, like meat-replacement patties, non-dairy milks, pressed juices, and others. A general rule of thumb for many of these is 3-5 days after opening, but that can vary.

The overall key in reducing food waste is careful planning, and in the best of circumstances, having a compost system in place to capture scraps so they get a second life.

As a food vendor, manufacturer, distributor, or producer, it’s important to know that donating food—whether edible but past it’s sell by or best by date, slightly damaged but still good, or purely an overproduction–is always an option. By January 2022, California businesses will need to address their food overages in order to comply with SB1383, which we’ll cover in another blog, so donating should be on everyone’s radar.

Meanwhile, Food Finders encourages you to share about our Food Rescue Program with friends, associates and business partners, so we can ensure that beyond the consumer level, everyone is doing their part to reduce food waste.

If you would like to make an impact on reducing food waste and hunger help us grow our food rescue operations: Donate

#foodfindersinc  #FoodRescue #reducehunger #foodrecovery #Volunteer #Charity #helpfoodinsecurecommunities #HelpEndHunger #EndHunger #fightinghunger #rescuingfood #Donate #makeanimpact

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Hunger

LGBTQ And Hunger: What You Should Know

In honor of Pride Month, Food Finders is shining a spotlight on some of the lesser-known facts about hunger and how it affects the LGBTQ community.

While hunger is often tied to homelessness, and a high population of people served by our partner agencies and pantries are homeless or unemployed, an oft-overlooked community that is reliant upon food banks, pantries and social services continues to be LGBTQ adults and teens. As indicated recently by Oregon Food Bank, more than a quarter of this community struggles with food insecurity. The reasons for this are tied directly to similar discriminatory acts faced by people of color.

Discrimination at places of work, within housing and education and even within the healthcare system has affected the levels of poverty that are perpetuated and growing within the transgender community in particular. Additionally, LGBTQ people of color have twice the rate of hunger as general BIPOC. A report issued in 2016 by the Williams Institute showed that The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) served nearly 1.37 million LGBTQ Americans several years ago, and we know that number has increased since. Worse, proposed cuts to the SNAP program further threaten food access for LGBTQ adults, although the country’s current administration is hoping to see increases in the federal funding for SNAP, but the proposals have not been approved.

Support systems are crucial, in the community and within families. In some families there is rampant unacceptance of LGBTQ members, particularly teens, and they are left to fend for themselves. While organizations like National LGBTQ Anti-Poverty Network , the National LGBTQ Task Force and many others advocate for their communities regularly, there is still much progress to be made.

You can help! Food Finders urges everyone to take a few minutes to get involved and lend a voice on behalf of our LGBTQ friends and family. Start here to share your stories and messages of support.

As William Faulkner said, “Never be afraid to raise your voice for honesty, truth, and compassion against injustice…If people all over the world would do this, it would change the earth.”

If you would like to make an impact on reducing food waste and hunger help us grow our food rescue operations: Donate

#foodfindersinc  #FoodRescue #reducehunger #foodrecovery #Volunteer #Charity #helpfoodinsecurecommunities #HelpEndHunger #EndHunger #fightinghunger #rescuingfood #Donate #makeanimpact

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