Retail Partnership Program reduces food waste, nourishes hungry neighbors
Hunger is a massive problem in Western New York and throughout the country. Still, billions of pounds of good food throughout the nation goes to waste each year that could have been used to help alleviate food insecurity. Hunger is a massive problem in Western New York and throughout the country. Still, billions of pounds of good food throughout the nation goes to waste each year that could have been used to help alleviate food insecurity.
One of the ways FeedMore WNY and our food industry partners are helping to reduce food waste is through our Retail Partnership Program.
“Retail partnership programs are a way for stores to reduce their food waste by bringing [high-quality surplus food] back out to the community through donations,” Amber Thiel, FeedMore WNY retail partnership coordinator, said. “There is a lot of relationship building between the agencies and the stores.”
Walmart is one of FeedMore WNY’s dedicated retail partners. Each week, eleven Walmart locations throughout FeedMore’s four-county service area donate a variety of food items – including produce, dairy products, baked goods and shelf-stable products – to FeedMore’s partner food pantries, shelters, soup kitchens and other hunger-relief partners.
Cherie Rowland, executive director of St. Susan Center in Jamestown, N.Y., said that the well-balanced meals their soup kitchen are able to offer are only possible through the support of FeedMore WNY and retail partners like Walmart.
“Protein combinations, such as, chicken, pork, and beef, along with, produce, fruits and vegetables are huge staples of the St. Susan menu,” Rowland said, adding that Walmart donates an average of 600 pounds of food each week to St. Susan Center.
“We here at St. Susan Center find it very important to be a good steward of the food we have been fortunate to receive by our partners,” Rowland said. “What better way to manage food recovery is by sharing with those in need. It benefits all.”
FeedMore WNY is grateful to retail partners like Walmart for their help in rescuing food to provide to our community members experiencing food insecurity. Walmart and Sam’s Club also help FeedMore WNY through other programs, including the Fight Hunger. Spark Change. campaign
To learn more about the campaign, visit: Feeding America’s Campaign Page.
St. Susan Center volunteers Janet and Rob prepare a meal using food rescued through FeedMore WNY’s Retail Partnership Program. More information about St. Susan Center can be found at: stsusancenter.org