In 2019, $285 billion worth of food went to waste in the United States. At Lovin’ Spoonfuls, we keep the value in good food by working to ensure that it doesn’t go to waste and makes a meal instead. Plus, food rescue saves our vendors, nonprofit partners, and end-recipients money. Here’s how:
Through our partnership, Lovin’ Spoonfuls’ vendor partners (grocery stores, wholesalers, farms, and farmer’s markets) receive two major fiscal benefits.
The first is a tax deduction. Each time Spoonfuls rescues food from a partner, it is counted as a donation. Spoonfuls’ highly trained Food Rescue Coordintors carefully measure each pound a vendor donates so we’re able to report back on their impact. In 2020, the food we rescued from our vendor partners was valued at $6.8 million.
The second benefit is the savings on waste disposal costs. Spoonfuls handles pick up and delivery for all the food we rescue. And since this is food that would have otherwise been discarded, vendors save money on waste removal.
“We rely on organizations like Lovin’ Spoonfuls to assess these distribution channels and coordinate accordingly. This is something that we as farmers are not always well positioned to do, either because we are short on time or resources (think refrigerated truck, delivery staff, etc.) or we simply don’t have the networks in place to know where the food is most useful. Working with Lovin’ Spoonfuls allows us to maximize our impact by focusing on just growing food and being able to feel confident that it will find a meaningful home where it has a real impact.” – Brendan Murtha, Farm Manager at Land’s Sake Farm
By providing rescued food to our nonprofit partners we enabled them to devote more of their budgets to the people they serve.
This is true whether Spoonfuls’ rescues are the only source of food for their programs or a supplement to food donations received from other sources, like area food banks.
When people are facing food insecurity, often food isn’t their only worry. People turning to their local food programs are making tough decisions between paying for food and rent, food and transportation, food and medicine. Receiving fresh, wholesome food free of charge enables our end-recipients to spend less time (and money) on meals.
“When I was laid off from my job at a medical center, it became difficult to pay the bills and put food on the table. Produce is a luxury item I can’t always afford. Knowing I can get things like lettuce, strawberries, and oranges for my kids [through donations provided to the pantry from Lovin’ Spoonfuls] is a huge comfort.” – Luisa, a client of The Gray House, a Lovin’ Spoonfuls partner