Eat Greater Des Moines is always looking to connect extra food to those in need to help curb food waste.
Back in June, EGDM was contacted by Rikki Roheart, who manages three Starbucks locations in Ankeny and Des Moines, about starting regular weekly pick-ups.
In 2016, Starbucks partnered with Feeding America to start the FoodShare Program. As of September of 2019, 60% of Starbucks locations across the country participate, however many rely on volunteers to pick-up and deliver the food.
That’s where EGDM’s Food Rescue Transportation Program comes in. Throughout the pandemic, EGDM’s Food Rescue Transportation Program has continued to operate three days a week with 5 drivers rescuing extra, pre-packaged foods from 35 Kum & Go stores and delivering it to organizations in need.
“Since we already have the infrastructure in place, it was easy to add the Starbucks locations to our routes,” said Steven Williams, Operations Manager.
In less than a week, after the Starbucks staff had been trained, EGDM was able to start consistently picking up food from all three locations every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
“Instead of throwing food away that we won’t use we’re giving it a second chance and getting it to people who need it,” said Nicholas, a worker at the Merle Hay Starbucks.
Workers set aside the single serving protein packs like wraps, fruits and cheese, pre-wrapped sandwiches, and other high-quality food items.
Each week, around 150-200 pounds of this food is rescued and delivered to organizations like Urbandale Food Pantry, Children & Families Urban Movement, Family Promise, Urbandale Community Action Network.
“People go crazy for the boxes because it’s not product they are used to getting,” said Darlena with Children & Families Urban Movement.
“Our goal is to make it easy for both the food donor and the organizations receiving the food,” said Steven. “We don’t want either of them to worry about if someone will show up that day to pick up or deliver food. We help provide that consistency so they can focus on serving their clients.”
Know of a restaurant, coffee shop or store that wants to make sure their extra food isn’t wasted and gets to people in need? Contact Operations Manager, Steven Williams email@example.com