Happy New Year from the Food Shift team! We have been working hard this year to move the needle towards a society where no good food is wasted. We’ve demonstrated to grocery stores how recovering food can make good business sense, we’ve helped local governments understand levers for maximizing food recovery, and we’re preparing to launch a commercial kitchen in Alameda utilizing surplus food. We’re are so grateful for our amazing staff, volunteers, and funders who have made this all possible.
Here are some of the things that happened this year for which we are most proud and grateful:
Demonstrating that Food Donation is Good Business
Food Shift designed and managed a food donation and waste tracking program for Andronico’s Community Markets that recovered almost 50,000 pounds of food in 3 months, saved the store $27,000 in reduced waste disposal costs, and increased the reported happiness level of 87% of store staff. This ongoing program shows that it is a smart business decision to invest in food recovery rather than incur the costs of food disposal.
Engaging Governments in Food Waste Reduction
We developed a report for Santa Clara County, CA on the causes of food waste in the county, and identified opportunities for reducing it. Food Shift is now working with the County on implementing these recommendations, which is a bold county wide approach to food waste reduction. We are also participating in a county-wide effort in Alameda County to end hunger, and helping to ensure that food waste reduction is a critical element of the plan.
A Model to Reduce Waste and Increase Food Access
Food Shift’s next step is to test scalable food recovery, processing, and redistribution models in the laboratory of the Alameda Kitchen. We raised $33,000 from 440 donors in our recent campaign to support the Kitchen, the press has shown us a lot of love, and we have some great partners lined up! Food Shift is working with alumni consultants from Stanford Business School to develop a sustainable revenue model for the Kitchen that can be replicated and scaled.
Thought Leadership in the Sector
Food Shift Founder and Director Dana Frasz kicked off the Equitable Food Summit in Fort Worth, Texas – connecting with other food waste advocates and activists from around the country. Dana shared Food Shift’s unique analysis and approach in an article for Triple Pundit and was also selected as an honoree for the Mic50, which recognizes “the next generation of leaders, innovators, and cultural influencers.” Check out her Mic50 video from the streets of New York!
With the USDA’s recent commitment to cut food waste in half by 2030, we are starting to see a shift in consciousness around this issue. But getting there will require shifting not only consciousness, but also developing new systems and structures that can support food recovery, processing, and redistribution. That’s where we’re headed in 2016 with the Alameda Kitchen and we look forward to continuing to work with you toward that goal.
Please show us some love by making a tax-deductible donation to Food Shift, to show your commitment to this critical issue, and to join us in this exciting journey ahead.