A Note from the FRP Chair

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2018-2019 Food Rescue Partnership Board. From left to right: Pete Vogel, Larry Linnenbrink, Christina McDonough, Kristin Bogdonas.

The Food Rescue Partnership begins the fiscal year 2019 with a newly-elected Board that includes some familiar faces and some new faces.

Newly elected in their positions are Kristin Bogdonas – Secretary, and Larry Linnenbrink – Treasurer. Meanwhile, former Secretary Christina McDonough will now assume the Vice-Chair duties while Pete Vogel remains Chair.

Kristin and Larry are well qualified to assume their new duties. We are confident the skills they have demonstrated as stakeholders will serve them well in these new Board positions. Christina has demonstrated a level of commitment and quality since the very beginning of the FRP, which came to be in large part due to her efforts as the Scott County Health Department’s Community Transformation Consultant. There is no doubt she will continue and further this legacy as Vice-Chair.

Our outgoing Board members did a fantastic job and the FRP is stronger as a result of their efforts and leadership. We thank our outgoing Vice-Chair Liz Hogan Wells for all the fine work, energy, and creativity she poured into the FRP, and wish her all the best as she pursues new opportunities in Florida. Similarly, we thank outgoing Treasurer Mike Miller for his foundational work with the FRP in providing valuable insight and leadership as well as positioning River Bend Foodbank to serve as our fiscal agent. Mike will continue as a valued stakeholder and remains a clear voice for ending hunger in our community. The Food Rescue Partnership enters this new term stronger and more vital than ever.

– Pete Vogel, Food Rescue Partnership Chair

Local Grocery Store in Eldridge Becomes Member in Food Rescue

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North Scott Foods, located in Eldridge, IA, is officially a Member in Food Rescue.

The Food Rescue Recognition Program has hit Eldridge with the addition of North Scott Foods.

Board Chair, Pete Vogel, and Vice-Chair, Liz Hogan-Wells visited the grocery store earlier this month to officially award them with their certificate and welcome them as a Member in Food Rescue earlier this month on March 9, 2018.

Staff at the store have been donating food since the mid-1980’s when it just “seemed like the right thing to do because otherwise, it’s a waste.” Since then, they have had some concerns about liability and were thrilled when we explained the Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act.

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Pictured above – Liz Hogan-Wells (FRP), Steve Grolmus (North Scott Foods Owner), Andy Lane (North Scott Foods Store Director), and Pete Vogel (FRP)

Remember that one? The federal and state law that protects companies and organizations from criminal and civil liabilities when they donate, in good faith, to a non-profit organization.

Typical donation items from North Scott Foods includes baked goods, bread, and pastries which go to the North Scott Food Pantry in Eldridge, IA and King’s Harvest in Davenport, IA.

Local produce takes a different route though and goes to the local animal shelter, Down by the Creek Animal Sanctuary in Long Grove, IA, and a farm that houses animals relocated about the closing of a petting zoo. This includes monkeys, a leopard, and other animals. Yes, you read that correctly, a leopard!

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North Scott Foods tackles two tiers of the Food Recovery Hierarchy!

What is really neat about North Scott Food’s donation strategies is that they are one of only a few Members in Food Rescue to tackle multiple tiers of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Food Recovery Hierarchy. They tackle both Feeding People and Feeding Animals.

Next time you stop by North Scott Foods, pay special attention to the front doors and let us know if you see the Food Rescue Partnership window cling hanging up and be sure to thank them for their efforts to reduce food waste by making sure foods get to people and animals.

New Member in Food Rescue – A Well Known QC Events Center

RCATThe RiverCenter and Adler Theatre are staples not only in Downtown Davenport but here in the Quad Cities.  So it was no surprise that when they wanted to become a Member in Food Rescue, we jumped at the opportunity to add them to the ranks!

Between events, receptions, and conventions, the venue’s kitchen definitely keeps busy! On average, the facility is able to donate 100 pounds of food each month to King’s Harvest, a shelter located just down the street from the events center in Davenport, IA. Being such a large facility, Carton says they are able to donate quite a variety of foods – canned foods, perishables, and proteins. Foods like pork loin, beef round, chicken breasts, fried chicken, fresh vegetables, canned product, and annually, they are able to donate premade entrees, sauces, vegetables, starches, and grains from a food show display they do each year.

Chris Carton, Food and Beverage Director and Executive Chef; Pete Vogel, Food Rescue Partnership; and Christina McDonough, Food Rescue PartnershipBoard Chair, Pete Vogel, and Secretary, Christina McDonough, conducted the official presentation welcoming the RiverCenter and Adler Theatre as a Member in Food Rescue on March 14, 2018. Chris Carton, Food and Beverage Director and Executive Chef, accepted the welcome on behalf of the events center. Carton has been with the RiverCenter and Adler Theatre for nine years and says they have been donating for at least that long.

Carton did share that one of the problems that keeps them from donating even more food is timing. Being an events center, most of their events end later in the night. At that time, the local food shelters, meal sites, and pantries are not open to accept food so it leaves the center with few options with the leftovers. But aside from that, they’ve been able to keep as much food as possible from the landfill by rescuing it to ensure its’ used as it was originally created – to feed people.

Great work to the RiverCenter and Adler Theatre! We’re excited to have them as a Member in Food Rescue helping the Food Rescue Partnership get closer and closer to our vision of a community dedicated to eliminating food waste.

Dairy Queen in Bettendorf Becomes Member in Food Rescue

DairyQueen(2)Next time you visit the Dairy Queen on 18th Street in Bettendorf pay special attention to the window to spot the Food Rescue Recognition Program sticker hanging up!

That’s right. They are the latest Quad Cities establishment that the Food Rescue Partnership is excited to welcome into the Food Rescue Recognition Program.

Dairy Queen Becomes Member of Food Rescue

The location boasts cool treats with a few hot eats and has been run by the same family for 41 years, owned by Susan Medd (pictured here in the middle) who is the 3rd generation owner. Her daughter, Karlee Lindorfer, and son, Kindred Priest, are general managers and will be 4th generation owners in the future.

When asked how long the location has been donating, Susan wasn’t even sure because it’s been so long. This Dairy Queen typically donates on demand – could be once a week or more infrequently, and typically food donations come from excess inventory ordering; occasional mistakes; when training new employees; or as a seasonal establishment, when it’s time to close up shop for the winter. At those times, Susan donates anything that is left at the end of the season, including chips and cheese, milk, tortillas, buns, etc.

Susan strongly agrees that food waste reduction is important to her business. “Why throw it away? Just because we can’t use it, doesn’t mean someone else can’t,” she says. And those donations go to a variety of entities in the Bettendorf area including nearby organizations and businesses.

Special Merit Award for Ronald MeddPlus, we learned something really interesting while at the Bettendorf Dairy Queen. Did you know that the machine used to make Blizzards was invented by Susan’s father, the second-generation owner, Ron Medd?! Back in 1984, Ron and his brothers worked with a manufacturer in East Moline to invent the machine that became widely used in every Dairy Queen establishment.

Great work to everyone involved at the 18th Street Dairy Queen in Bettendorf!

Kicking off 2018 as an Award Winning Coalition

Award WinningLast week, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the winners of the 2017 Food Recovery Challenge Regional Awards, and the Food Rescue Partnership (FRP) is proud to share that our coalition is one of the Region 7 awardees!

In June 2016, the FRP became endorsers of the U.S. EPA’s Food Recovery Challenge to align local Quad Cities professional food establishments and retail food stores with national sustainable management of food initiatives. “Becoming endorsers of the EPA’s Food Recovery Challenge made perfect sense for the FRP,” says Christina McDonough, FRP Board Secretary.

fd_reccvry_hierachy_363pxwMcDonough was a strong advocate for the FRP to join the challenge and as Board Secretary, she was the one to get the FRP registered as an endorser and continues to maintain the outreach activity records that are provided to the EPA annually. “Since our onset in 2013, FRP regularly refers to the EPA’s Food Recovery Hierarchy (see image to the left) and while the primary focus of FRP is to feed hungry people, we also connect professional food establishments and retail food stores to local resources on feeding animals and composting.”

Aside from being among the great company of other awardees implementing amazing initiatives towards food waste diversion and getting food to those in need, the FRP has something that makes it unique among the others – it’s the only bi-state winner and actually stretches through two U.S. EPA Regions (5 and 7)! “This award is a testament to our extraordinary stakeholders and partners whose commitment to a Quad Cities that promotes rescuing food for its best possible use continues to drive us to be a community dedicated to eliminating food waste,” concludes Pete Vogel, FRP Board Chair.

Learn more and check out the other award winners at About the 2017 Food Recovery Challenge Regional Award Winners.

Holiday Wishes and 2017 Year in Review

Greetings, Food Rescue Partnership Stakeholders,

FRP2As 2017 draws to a close and we enter the holiday season, I want to express my deepest appreciation for all the work and support you have provided the Food Rescue Partnership this year. May your holiday season be filled with peace and joy, and may the New Year find you all safe, happy, and healthy.

As a result of the hard work and dedication of our stakeholders, 2017 has been an excellent year for food rescue here in the Quad Cities. Here are just some of the 2017 Food Rescue Partnership highlights:

  • Completion of the strategic plan (mission, vision, core values, goals, action steps)
  • Stakeholder Saturdays Facebook posts instituted to highlight Stakeholder contributions
  • A few of our major speaking opportunities:
    • Midwest Food Recovery Summit in September
    • Iowa Hunger Summit in October
  • New members of Food Rescue:
    • Davenport Elks Lodge in May
    • Quad Cities Food Hub in June
  • A Stakeholder tour of Cinnamon Ridge Farms in May
  • Election of our new Vice-Chair Liz Hogan-Wells in July
  • Updating our brochure in September
  • Obtaining FRP-branded promotional materials in November/December

Of special note relevant to our food rescue mission in 2017, the Food Rescue Partnership:

  • Reached 291 people with our food rescue message through community presentations and health fairs
  • Rescued/donated approximately 3,742 pounds of food to hunger-relief agencies in the community

These accomplishments are all direct and tangible results of the work of our committed stakeholders. As we look forward to 2018, our mission to promote rescuing food for its best possible use remains focused on maintaining existing partnerships while forming new ones, and providing ongoing food rescue education and awareness to our community. Particularly exciting new opportunities to continue and expand our reach include:

  • Working with Augustana College to update and expand the QC Food Accessibility GIS map
  • Forming a new collaboration with St. Ambrose University as a client for their Spring 2018 Strategic Communications Campaigns class

Thank you all again for all you do. The Quad Cities is a better, stronger community for your efforts and support.

Best regards,
Pete Vogel, Food Rescue Partnership Board Chair

Where We’ve Been and Where We’re Going

The Food Rescue Partnership has officially been around for three years. We have a great group of active stakeholders dedicated to food rescue but towards the middle of last year, we reached a crossroads. We gained some traction after the workshop in October 2015 and our research showed two avenues that had real needs in the community – outreach and transportation as well as education and awareness.

But where should our emphasis be placed? And what could we realistically accomplish? With those questions in mind, we embarked on a Strategic Planning Process that began last fall. With the help of our stakeholders, we started with a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis to get firsthand input on the current strengths and weaknesses, as well as where our focuses should be for the future.

With those results in hand and many discussions looking at the pros versus the cons as well as what we wanted to accomplish versus what was realistic for us to accomplish, we are ready to share the outcomes of the planning process and where we are heading for the future.

New Revised Mission Statement

Multiple variations were discussed to result in the revisions of the FRP mission statement. We wanted to ensure the mission was direct but still broad enough that it could lead us into future efforts of food recovery.

The Food Rescue Partnership is a Quad Cities coalition that promotes rescuing food for its best possible use.

Development of a Vision Statement

The vision statement is really based on the initial concept of the FRP when the Scott County Health Department created it – reducing food waste.

Quad Cities – a community dedicated to eliminating food waste.

Creation of Core Value Statements

Five core values will be used as the FRP moves forward to achieving its goals.

  • Collaboration – Facilitate active partnerships to increase food rescue.
  • Communication – Practice and maintain clear communication with all in order to connect and educate.
  • Community – Cultivate a continually growing group of partners effectively engaged in food rescue.
  • Resourcefulness – Innovate to adapt proactively and develop solutions to ensure the best use of stakeholders’ resources.
  • Safety – Prioritize safety for our donors, recipients, and volunteers during the entire food rescue process.

Goals

No strategic plan is complete without goals and next steps. To keep things simple and moving forward, the FRP decided on two overarching goals with numerous action steps within each goal.

  1. Form and maintain eight new partnerships per fiscal year between community stakeholders to rescue food for its best possible use.
    • This really looks at the core of the coalition – establishing relationships. Connecting recipient agencies and donors and providing the information needed to ensure food is used for its possible use.
  2. Provide monthly food rescue education and awareness to the community at-large.
    • With a focus on building and maintaining the FRP foundation, the second goal the FRP is actively educating and providing awareness throughout the community.

The strategic planning process could not have been completed without the hard work of the many stakeholder organizations that provided their time and input into setting the course for the future. As we continue to move forward, we’ll keep everyone updated on our progress. The best places to stay updated are to like us on Facebook or get involved and become a stakeholder!

A Hometown Favorite Becomes a Member in Food Rescue

Ross'LogoIf you’re a Quad Citizan, you likely have at least heard of Ross’ Restaurant and their Magic Mountain, so we are thrilled to announce the iconic establishment as an official Member in Food Rescue.

The 24-hour restaurant has been in the Quad Cities since 1938, and their relationship with food rescue began about 15 years ago when Melissa Freidhof-Rodgers, granddaughter to the restaurant’s founder, came back to the Quad Cities to become general manager. She noticed an opportunity with one ingredient in particular restaurant’s ground beef. First of all, they had a ton of it. And while much of it was able to get repurposed for other dishes like chili, much was still getting wasted.

Freidhof-Rodgers knew there had to be someone that could benefit from the excess meat so she called around to various hunger relief agencies throughout the Quad Cities until she made a connection with Cafe on Vine in Davenport and the rest, as they say, is history.

Fifteen years later, Ross’ still makes regular donations to Cafe on Vine which primarily consist of five-gallon buckets of ground beef. Occasionally donations will include soup, other proteins, and a definite crowd pleaser, the giant cinnamon rolls.

Aside from regular donations, their 2015 move from near the I-74 Bridge to Falcon Avenue resulted in more food donations than normal by clearing out all their products and in particular, ingredients that would no longer be part of menu items. They even made equipment donations as well.

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From left to right: Billie Hornbeak (Ross’ Kitchen Staff), Emmanual Garcia (Ross’ Kitchen Staff, Melissa Freidhof-Rodgers (Ross’ General Manager), Pete Vogel (FRP Board Chair)

In talking with Freidhof-Rodgers, it’s easy to see why Ross’ has continued to build this relationship with Cafe on Vine for so long. Like many we have come across, she believes in food rescue, not for recognition but because it just makes sense. “Small acts for people really help build a community,” she says. Volunteer and community-building were topics she brought up multiple times.

She also emphasizes that having her staff support their food rescue efforts is crucial. Many at Ross’ are involved in the food donations by preparing and transporting the food to Café on Vine.

Congratulations to the Ross’ Restaurant staff. Thank you for the food rescue you have done and will continue to do.

“Share the Love – Starting a Food Rescue Program in Your Community” Webinar

WebinarLogosWe are excited to be joining Eat Greater Des Moines and Table to Table in an upcoming webinar focused on food rescue and community efforts!

Each organization has had a different start and a different process to food rescue. Through the “Share the Love – Starting a Food Rescue Program in Your Community” webinar, you’ll learn:

  • Three different models addressing food rescue in Iowa communities
  • Federal laws in place to protect food donors
  • Resources available to start a food rescue program in your community

Each group will share how they got started, lessons learned, and resources available to other groups looking to replicate efforts in their community.

Download the webinar flyer here or click below to register for the webinar!


Date: Wednesday, August 31st
Time: 1:00 – 2:30 pm (CST)
Registration
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Inaugural Member in Food Rescue: Outback Steakhouse

We are excited to announce the first approved Member in Food Rescue of the Donor Recognition Program is none other than Outback Steakhouse in Davenport, IA. The proprietor, Lindsey Adams, has been leading the donation process since it began in December 2014. “Some people don’t know when or where they’ll get their next meal and we hope this partnership can help,” she says. Since the process started in 2004, King’s Harvest, also in Davenport, has been picking up food twice a week from Outback Steakhouse.

Outback Steakhouse becomes inaugural Member in Food Rescue
From right to left: Pete Vogel (Food Rescue Partnership), Alex Danekas (Outback Steakhouse), Lindsey Adams (Outback Steakhouse), Erin Traeger (Outback Steakhouse), Jeffrey Ratliff-Crain (Food Rescue Partnership, Augustana College)

Earlier this month, Food Rescue Partnership board chair, Pete Vogel and one of the FRP stakeholders from Augustana College, Jeffrey Ratliff-Crain, officially recognized Outback Steakhouse as the inaugural Member in Food Rescue.

“The work you have been doing at Outback in the area of food rescue has been overlooked for far too long in our community,” says Vogel. Adams was presented with a certificate showcasing Outback Steakhouse as a Member in Food Rescue, as well as window clings that you’ll likely see the next time you stop by the restaurant!

Adams has been with Outback Steakhouse since 2003, originally working throughout the Chicago region in a variety of roles. Then in September 2013 she made the Quad Cities home becoming owner of the Kimberley Road restaurant. For those of you familiar with the Food Rescue Partnership, you may recognize her name as she is also the vice-chair of the FRP board and was one of the panelists at the FRP workshop last October.

In talking with Lindsey, she mentioned she isn’t looking for recognition or award which is easy to believe, however, I would like to point out that her efforts in food rescue have resulted in both. Through donating food consistently, the Davenport restaurant was recently recognized as the #2 establishment in terms of food donation. And overall for the year, they are ranked #7 out of over 600 establishments. She views food donation as a no-brainer, something that is just a part of the everyday routine at Outback Steakhouse.

Excess food is stored in the freezer until King's Harvest volunteers arrive for bi-weekly pick-ups.
Excess food is stored in the freezer until King’s Harvest volunteers arrive for bi-weekly pick-ups.

And the routine has become just that, a routine. Any excess food that can be donated is stored in bins in the freezer. This primarily includes honey wheat bread, mashed potatoes, soups, produce, and sometimes even prime rib and sirloin. In addition to excess food, other items such as the onion tops from the Bloomin’ Onions are included in the regular donations as well.

Before pick up, the food is weighed and tracked on the Harvest Food Donation Log provided by the corporate office before being picked up by the King’s Harvest volunteers. From the paper donation log, the information is then tracked online through the Food Donation Connection which holds all of the restaurant’s donation information. As of July 2016, their donations for the year had already surpassed 3,600 meals.

The FRP is pleased to kick off the Donor Recognition Program with Outback Steakhouse. Adams and her team are well deserving of recognition for their dedication to ensure food is provided to people through their relationship with King’s Harvest. Congratulations to the Davenport Outback Steakhouse staff. Keep up the great work!


Learn more about the Donor Recognition Program and sign up here!