Recovering Food for All in Need
DMARC has a plethora of ways to get food for our mobile and partner food pantries.
While we do distribute food that is donated to us by individuals, most of our food is purchased with donated funds. As a matter of fact, we can stretch a dollar significantly further, when it comes to purchasing food items, than an individual purchasing food at the grocery store. This is not to say that we don’t appreciate food donations, but rather that monetary donations go much further.
One way we receive food items that isn’t as well known is through our food recovery program. This is when a company or organization has a bulk amount of food items that it can donate. Sometimes these groups donate pallet after pallet of food items or goods such as diapers.
A few of these are Lomar Distributing, Inc., Capital City Fruit, and Walmart in Grimes, all of which I have had a chance to visit. While at Lomar a couple of the warehouse workers filled our truck with about 10 pallets. Although that wasn’t nearly the half of it, as they had multiple racks fully stocked with items waiting to be recovered.
We purchase foods from Capital City Fruit, a total of $198,352 or 448,671 pounds last year according to our records. Capital City Fruit does donate to us as well, a total of 278,799 pounds last year. While I was there they donated a pallet with multiple different fruits and vegetables along with a pallet of tomatoes.
When we’re visiting Walmart in Grimes it is purely to pick up goods that are being recovered, we do not purchase foods from them. While I was there they donated over 20 banana and plantain boxes filled with multiple different food items.
“[The food recovery program] allows a lot of variety to go into our system that we otherwise wouldn’t receive,” said Rebecca Whitlow, DMARC’s Food Pantry Network Director. “When it comes to purchasing produce we are limited to shelf-stable items because they have to last from Monday till Saturday.”
Whitlow went on to explain that we would still have produce if we didn’t have this program, but it would be significantly limited in comparison.