Surplus Food Donations
According to FoodRescue.net, more than 40% of the food in America goes to waste. Through Roadrunner Food Bank’s Food Rescue Program, we are keeping good, edible food out of landfills and getting it to hungry people in Albuquerque and throughout New Mexico. Rescuing food is an important way we obtain food to distribute to partner agencies and our direct service programs. In 2011, we rescued 16.3 million pounds of food, which is 60% of our total food distribution.
Where our Food Rescue Food Comes From
On average, our fleet of box trucks and tractor trailers pick up rescued food at 100 different locations in Albuquerque and New Mexico every week, rescuing food to bring back to the Food Bank for distribution. Our program rescues the majority of the food from:
- Grocery stores
- Food manufacturers
- Growers and farmers
Our program rescues foods like bakery items, meat, dairy, produce, canned goods and dry goods. Rescued food often requires prep prior to being distributed. Volunteers help Roadrunner Food Bank sort, label, box and repack rescued food items. Their hard work helps us quickly distribute rescued food.
The Benefits of Food Rescue
Hungry people benefit from rescued food by having access to a more well-rounded, balanced meal and diet. At Roadrunner Food Bank, the program helps us secure food we would otherwise not have to distribute and ensures we always have a variety of different food available in our warehouses.
There are benefits for the business or company making a donation, too. Rescued food prevents good food from being thrown away and diverts food from landfills. It also helps donors reduce disposal costs and frees up valuable floor space for storage of surplus food. Companies and businesses that make a food donation to Roadrunner Food Bank are protected under federal law. The Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Law protects food industry donors from liability because they are giving a donation in good faith.
We have many food industry donors contributing to the 16.3 million pounds of food given to the Food Bank last year and we thank each of them for their generous support.
Other Types of Surplus Food – Food Drive, Purchased Food and Shared Food
Of course, rescued food is one way we collect and distribute food, but the Food Bank also receives and picks up food drive donations too. Food drives are an important source of food for us as well. If you are interested in hosting a food drive on our behalf, click here for more information.
Another way we obtain food is by purchasing food from New Mexico businesses and companies as well as food companies out of state. For example, we often purchase peanut butter, potatoes and onions and others products in state, but look to companies out of state to supply us with product such as citrus, apples, etc.
Part of being a member of Feeding America allows us to share resources with nearby affiliated food banks. For example, we do share food product with many of the southwestern based food banks and sometime swap foods. Also, we jointly purchase food product with other Feeding America affiliated food banks that helps save in shipping/freight costs.