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Food Shift, Bioneers, and An Ongoing and Powerful Collaboration

2015 Bioneers food 1 copyThis October we celebrate the second successful year of collaboration between Food Shift and–a food recovery organization in Marin County– to recover food from the Bioneers Summit Conference in San Rafael, CA. Bioneers is a nonprofit educational organization that highlights innovative approaches to human and environmental health and it was an honor to work with them again to ensure food from their 26th year celebration dinners was captured and redistributed within the community.

Food Shift team member, Carolyn Lasar worked with Embassy Suites Chef, Scott LaCrosse to pack up and refrigerate overnight surplus food from two special awards dinners on Friday and Saturday night.  Food Shift recovered 276 lbs. of nutritious, deliciously prepared organic food including Mediterranean chicken with olives, prunes and bay leaves, roasted Delicata squash, green beans, quinoa with oyster mushrooms and lentil and fresh corn salad.  The following mornings, volunteers from came to collect and deliver the meals to food assistance organizations in Marin.

2015 Bioneers Food 2 copyKathy Carver, Operations Manager at, reports that the food was greatly appreciated by the following organizations:

*  Mill Street Center, San Rafael, a critically important service to homeless men and women as the only night-to-night emergency shelter in the county.

* Rotary Valley Senior Village and San Rafael Rotary Manor, two low income senior housing projects.

“We were so impressed with how easy and efficient it was to pick up the extra food from both event dinners.  Food Shift did a great job organizing all the pre-event details, paving the way for a smooth pick-up on our end!”

-Kathy Carver, Operations Manager

There are several challenges associated with recovering prepared food from events. Most events end late at night when many food assistance organizations are closed, limiting potential recipient groups for the food. Furthermore, the event venue may have limited to no refrigeration to store the food overnight until the next day for pick up.  Food Shift was able to successfully work with ExtraFood.Org and Bioneers staff to navigate these complicated logistics to effectively recover food from the Bioneers conference.

Food Shift’s effort to collect prepared foods from special events provides especially healthful food to populations such as the homeless and the elderly, who are particularly vulnerable to diet-related health conditions like diabetes, obesity, and heart disease.  The recovery of high-quality prepared food from events provides complete and healthy meals that can simply be reheated and served, providing an ideal food source for community agencies with limited to no cooking staff and kitchen space.

In addition supplying healthy meals to those in need, food recovery keeps good food out of the landfill.  The 276 lbs. of food recovered from Bioneers translates to 212 meals served or a reduction of 209 lbs of CO2 equivalent greenhouse gas.  (Rock and Wrap It Up! Food Recovery Calculator)

Thank you to, Bioneers and Embassy Suites Chef Scott LaCrosse for making this second year of food redistribution such a success.  We look forward to working with you and others on more events like this in the future!
If you would like Food Shift to coordinate and manage the recovery and donation of surplus food at your next event, you can email us at

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