Hey everyone! I want to talk about food recovery. I’m willing to bet that the majority of people in this city throw away food because it has gone bad before it could be eaten. How many bananas or heads of lettuce were trashed because of their short shelf life? According to a recent article on food waste in the Huffington Post, “…moving food from farm to table accounts for 50 percent of land use in the US, 10 percent of total energy consumption, and 80 percent of all freshwater used. Despite these inputs, only 60 percent of the food produced in the US is actually eaten, with 52 percent of fruits and vegetables thrown out. This equates to $165 billion of food waste each year.”
At Bring It Food Hub, we typically end up with 50 to 100 pounds of extra produce either from people donating their bag for the week, or from farmers providing a little extra produce to make up for damaged items. So every week, we sort through the left over produce and donate all the food that is still fresh to food pantries in the city.
Luckily, Memphis has some great local resources that you can use to help eliminate food waste. There are a number of food pantries in the Memphis area that take fresh, whole produce and distribute it to people in need. These institutions are usually stocked full of canned and shelf-stable items which is great; but you can’t tell me that fresh green beans aren’t better than canned, or that a fresh pear isn’t amazingly refreshing in this Memphis heat.
Bring It Food Hub personally donates all subscription produce bags that are not picked up during the week to food pantries through our Pay It Forward program. There are many ways to participate in the Pay It Forward Program. When you join any produce subscription, Pay It Forward bags can be purchased as an add-on item. If you are not a regular Bring It produce subscription customer, you can exclusively purchase Pay It Forward bags at our online store, here. All Pay It Forward purchases are considered a tax deductible donation.
Below is a list of food pantries Bring It Food Hub donates to each week, and you can too! Please feel free to reach out to these organizations if you wish to learn more about how to make a donation.
First Congregational Church – The food pantry at First Congregational Church in the Cooper Young neighborhood is open from 11am-1pm: https://www.firstcongo.com/calendar-item/food-pantry/
St. John’s United Methodist Church – The food pantry at St. John’s United Methodist Church accepts food donations every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 9-11am: http://www.stjohnsmidtown.org/outreach/food-ministries/food-pantry/
Ample Harvest – AmpleHarvest.org is an online platform that allows you to find active food pantries in your area: http://ampleharvest.org/find-pantry/
We recommend contacting all food pantries to confirm operating hours before making your donation.