Connecting-communities-food-findersCommunity

Community Gives Us Our Sense of Belonging

If the Pandemic has given us a gift, it would be that we all belong to something bigger.

At the core of what we do at Food Finders are people committed to a mission that serves others, serves our planet, and serves the communities that we live. We know that everyone in our community is important and we want each and every person living here to feel like they belong. When everything across America shut-down when COVID first hit, the Food Finders team was essential. Coming in each day to receive donations from essential grocery stores our deliveries grew. The growing list of local food pantries also were growing but somehow everyone felt a part of something greater and more beautiful despite the panic of a virus.

Food Is Much More Than Survival

We know that food is more than donated items in a box. Put together with love, care and a a few spices, food donations become a meal. And meals matter.

Meals Matter

When a meal is prepared there is thought, process and passion behind its preparation. Someone taught you how to prepare this recipe. A memory of a grandmother pouring salt into her hand and telling you, “This is just enough.” Pictures of a holiday gathering with family and friends who were oooing and aaahhhing over the smell and the taste of something you spend hours preparing. Food is the piece of our lives that brings people together. We eat it at the table sharing the stories of the day or we gather together to explore new experiences. We learn about the process, the country of origin, the unique culture, and the people behind the spice and recipe. Food is much more than survival which is why it was and still is essential in our lives. Food Rescue Heroes know just how true this is!

Across America We Share Community

Last week we were contacted by the Last Mile Food Rescue in Cincinnati, Ohio. They connected with us over a football game that was coming up on Sunday (you know, that really big game that uses roman numerals!) Rams vs Bengals. An exciting opportunity to reach out 2173 miles to say: “Hey, we are both committed to food rescue in our communities. We both use the same Food Rescue App. Our Football teams are rivals and competitors but let’s partner and share in the excitement that is filling both of our communities this week”

https://lastmilefood.org/

Our goal was to connect the dots of what we do. People who overcome sleet and snow to deliver food to a critical food pantry, or volunteers in LA who have to navigate six-lane highways with the sun glaring directly in their face while the GPS directs them to a local non-profit. Sun or snow we are all committed to the communities we serve because in those communities live real people in need. People we can help. And if we can help people get the nourishment they need today, we know that tomorrow they can do better in school or feel strong enough to gather with others. Food is nourishment but it is also the essential part of our lives that creates belonging. We have a duty to ensure that everyone is fed something healthy. That is what this new partnership is all about.

How Can We Help One Another 2173 Miles Apart?

I called a community merchant group in a town about one hour from Cincinnati. I explained to the group that during this week before the Super Bowl I was going to bring awareness to the excessive amount of food waste from the game, from tailgate parties, and from our families sitting at home. “About 40 tons of waste is generated during the big game,” I told them. “That is about the size of the average blue whale.”

Between the “Wows” I then asked them if they had ever heard of the Last Mile Rescue. They had not. “Its too far,” said one member of the group. But the Bengals in the Super Bowl? Oh yeah, they all knew all about that!

“Guess what?” I asked them. “Did you know that the Last Mile Rescue from Cincinnati Ohio and Food Finders from Los Angeles, California are both food finding heroes?”

The room was silent. Heroes? I explained who we were and what we were doing in our communities. I explained how just sharing the mission of their local food rescue hero could bring critical awareness and possibly millions of meals into food disadvantaged communities. It was then that the magic began.

“There is is food pantry in town.” one person said. “Oh yeah,” said another. “I heard they are helping so many people in town since the Pandemic.”

What if all the shops on Main Street did a food drive?” asked another. “Maybe do one each quarter instead of just collecting a few items at Christmas time.”

“My son lives in Cincinnati. I wonder if he could volunteer his time?” The room exploded in conversation.

This is how community partnerships work.

We Are All Connected

February is #BlackHistoryMonth and the vision that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. had for our nation still resonates.

“Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. This is the interrelated structure of reality.”

Working with the Last Mile Food Rescue has already brought me so much joy (and the Rams haven’t even beaten the Bengals yet!) It is all in good fun and no matter who wins, we have made a connection that will impact our communities even more.

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 #GoRams #ramscommunity #foodrescuehero #sblvi

READ MORE
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

READ MORE
Support Food Finders and Give #MoreThanJustFood

Your support of Food Finders provides more than just food- it provides time spent cooking together, reconnecting with friends or family, creating a long-lasting memory, tradition and much more. Make a donation this December and provide someone in need with #MoreThanJustFood.