Position Statement on House File 3

The Food Rescue Partnership Board encourages our lawmakers to continue supporting food access for Iowans.

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is the nation’s most important and effective tool at addressing hunger and food insecurity. In November 2022, SNAP provided $45.6 million benefits to 273,085 Iowans. In Scott County, 11.98% of residents benefited from SNAP assistance spending $1.98 average per meal benefit per individual.

Since 2013, the Food Rescue Partnership has prioritized the need to improve food availability by building a strong, well-connected food rescue network. Because hunger does not affect one type of person or one geographic location. Young or old. Rural or urban. Hunger affects 1 in 7 people throughout the United States and 229,500 Iowans. 

Supporting House File 3 threatens individual food choice, increases stress on already strained food pantries, and negatively impacts overall health of Iowans by increasing hunger and food insecurity. A research project in Davenport has identified foods needed by food pantry recipients and to make use of existing foods from local pantries. Many of the items identified by participants would be excluded by SNAP if these changes are implemented. Increasing choice reduces waste. Specifically, restrictions on choice within SNAP will limit participant access to the foods they and their families need. Limiting SNAP participants’ choices means they will have no access to supplemental items needed, such as ingredients to prepare meals at home. The harmful proposals in the bill include:

  • Restricting SNAP purchases to only foods on the WIC approved food item list.
  • Establishing an asset limit for SNAP.
  • Performing regular eligibility verification checks for SNAP and Medicaid.
  • Requiring participation in the SNAP Employment & Training program.
  • Requiring custodial parents to cooperate with the child support recovery unit.

Therefore, the Food Rescue Partnership Board does not support any efforts to restrict food purchases or establish an asset limit for SNAP. The Food Rescue Partnership supports efforts to improve food access and SNAP incentives to support Iowans making healthy choices such as Double Up Food Bucks.

To learn more about how you can protect SNAP, please visit the Iowa Hunger Coalition website.

Sincerely,

2022 Year in Review

Dear Food Rescue Partnership Stakeholders and Friends,

I would like to reflect on the last year and what is to come for the Food Rescue Partnership. 

In 2022, stakeholders learned about ‘Rural Food Deserts across the State of Iowa’ from Jordon Burrows, reconvened for our first 100% in-person meeting for a fiscal year 2023 planning session, and launched a ‘Food rescue at Home’ social media campaign.

The Food Rescue Partnership hosted its fourth Food Rescue Workshop at St. Ambrose University! This was an exciting return to our in-person event and proved to be a successful collaboration with St. Ambrose University as many of their students attended. More than 40 attendees made new connections and learned how food waste and reduction trends changed during the COVID pandemic, a local model for personalized healthy food pantry, and how to compost at home.

For the third year in a row, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that the Food Rescue Partnership earned a Food Recovery Challenge Award! The Food Rescue Partnership is one of 18 innovative businesses and organizations that are being recognized by the U.S. EPA at a national level for work completed in 2020 and 2021. This is the first time our Quad Cities’ coalition earned national recognition!

To date, the Food Rescue Partnership has diverted more than 53,963 pounds of food from the landfill by making connections to feed hungry people, feed animals, and/or compost. 

Ringing in 2023, I look forward to expanding our food waste reduction and recovery messaging to at home strategies and learning more about various compost methods.

The Food Rescue Partnership is driven by caring and motivated stakeholders and community partners.  Most importantly, the Food Rescue Partnership is a team of great people.  On behalf of myself and the Food Rescue Partnership Board, thank you.

Happy New Year,

Christina McDonough, Board Chair

FRP Awarded 2020 Food Recovery Challenge National Award

For the third year in a row, the Food Rescue Partnership has won a Food Recovery Challenge (FRC) Award!

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) presents the awards each year.  “The EPA Food Recovery Challenge Award winners demonstrate how preventing food waste and diverting excess wholesome food away from landfills and to people is important for the environment and communities,” said EPA Administrator Michael Regan in the official announcement from the EPA.  “Their accomplishments serve as excellent examples to other companies, governments, organizations and communities, particularly because food is the single largest category of waste.”

EPA Food Recovery Challenge National Badge

“The Food Rescue Partnership educates local food establishments about food recovery. So it was a natural fit to become part of the FRC,” said FRP Board Chair Christina McDonough.  Some of the activities that helped earn this award for the FRP include:

The Food Rescue Partnership is one of 18 innovative businesses and organizations that are being recognized by the U.S. EPA at a national level for work completed in 2020 and 2021.  “It’s always an honor for the Food Rescue Partnership to be recognized by the U.S. EPA,” said FRP Board Chair Christina McDonough.  “This is the first time our Quad Cities’ coalition earned national recognition”.  The majority of FRP activities and materials have been provided through volunteerism, in-kind donations, or grants from stakeholders and community partners.  FRP stakeholders continually strategize new and unique opportunities to highlight its Members in Food Rescue and spread the food recovery message.

“This recognition is possible by the hard work and commitment of our stakeholders and community partners,” said McDonough.  “Together, we are making the Quad Cities a community dedicated to eliminating food waste.”

Learn more and check out the other national award winners at EPA’s Food Recovery Challenge Awardees Showcase Ways to Tackle Largest Category of Waste in Landfills.

2021 Year in Review

Dear Food Rescue Partnership Stakeholders and Friends,

I would like to reflect on the last year and what is to come for the Food Rescue Partnership. 

In 2021, we welcomed an input analysis and strategic planning sessions to re-evaluate our mission, vision, core value statements, and goals.  I’m proud that our vision for the Quad Cities to be a community dedicated to eliminating food waste and our mission to promote rescuing food for its best possible use stood the test of time.  FRP Stakeholders did a fantastic job revamping our core value statements.

  • Collaboration – Facilitate active partnership to build a strong, well-connected food rescue network.
  • Education – Utilize effective communication to promote best practices for food rescue in the community.
  • Community – Cultivate a continually growing and diverse network of partners effectively engaged in food rescue.
  • Safety – Prioritize safety throughout the entire food rescue process from donor to destination. 

We recognized longtime Board Chair, Pete Vogel for his outstanding service, inspiring leadership, and continuous support to go above and beyond to ensure that food is not wasted, but kept as the amazing resource it is.  Since joining the Food Rescue Partnership in January 2015, Pete educated more than 660 people about food rescue and personally ensured more than 767 pounds of food was rescued!

To date, the Food Rescue Partnership has diverted more than 53,713 pounds of food from the landfill by making connections to feed hungry people, feed animals, and/or compost. 

Ringing in 2022, I look forward to our planning session on February 1st to reconnect in-person and learn how food waste trends have changed during the COVID pandemic and the value of offering a personalized, healthy, food pantry service.  Our planning session will help us prepare for the fourth Food Rescue Workshop.

The Food Rescue Partnership is driven by caring and motivated stakeholders and community partners.  Most importantly, the Food Rescue Partnership is a team of great people.  On behalf of myself and the Food Rescue Partnership Board, thank you.

Happy New Year,

Christina McDonough, Board Chair

2020 Year in Review

Dear Food Rescue Partnership Stakeholders and Friends,

Thank you for your tremendous commitment through this unprecedented year.  We found ourselves adapting to a global pandemic, national injustice crisis, and Midwest derecho on professional and personal levels we did not anticipate when we rang in the New Year. 

In 2020, we transformed the biennial Food Rescue Workshop to a 100% live webinar series with recordings available for replay.  The webinar series explained why wasting food is such a problem and how health inequity and COVID-19 changed the landscape of food insecurity.  The concluding webinar in the series launched a new feature to the FRP biennial event; the announcement of the Quad Cities first-ever Food Rescue Warrior and Member of the Year. 

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that the Food Rescue Partnership earned the 2019 Food Recovery Challenge Regional Award, our second year receiving regional recognition!  The recognition is possible because of our strongest asset, Food Rescue Partnership Stakeholders and Community Partners.  Through all of the uncertainty in 2020, our partnerships increased food rescue and used resourcefulness and innovation to ensure the best use of resources.  We prioritized safety for our donors, recipients, and volunteers during the entire food rescue process more so than ever before.

To date, the Food Rescue Partnership has diverted more than 53,588 pounds of food from the landfill by making connections to feed hungry people, feed animals, and/or compost. 

Ringing in 2021, I look forward to continuing to modify and improve our food rescue education and outreach efforts.  None of which would be possible without your dedication to make the Quad Cities a community dedicated to eliminating food waste.  Your hard work and collaboration is making a direct impact to keep food as a valuable resource.  On behalf of myself and the Food Rescue Partnership Board, thank you.

Happy New Year,

Christina McDonough, Board Chair


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Local Chefs Recognized for Heroic Food Rescue Efforts during COVID-19

The Quad Cities Food Rescue Partnership added a new feature to their biennial event with the announcement of the Quad Cities first-ever Food Rescue Warrior and Member of the Year. 

Chris Carton, Food and Beverage Director and Executive Chef; Pete Vogel, Food Rescue Partnership; and Christina McDonough, Food Rescue Partnership
Chef Chris Carton, Pete Vogel, Christina McDonough

“Chef Chris Carton of the RiverCenter|Adler Theatre exemplifies food rescue on a daily basis,” says Christina McDonough, Chair of the Food Rescue Partnership.  “During the particularly difficult pandemic times in our community, the RiverCenter|Adler Theatre is recognized for Chef Carton’s initiative to confirm the ability to operate a safe community kitchen under the RiverCenter|Adler Theatre’s food license so that professional food handlers could volunteer to prepare and serve food that would have otherwise been wasted,” explains McDonough.

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Pete Vogel, Chef Yolanda Graves-Jefferson, Cassandra Nephew, Christina McDonough

Similarly, the Food Rescue Partnership called for nominations of the Quad

Cities first-ever, Food Rescue Warrior.  “Yolanda Graves-Jefferson received heartfelt nominations for her passion to rescue food and feed those in need,” says McDonough.  Graves-Jefferson developed a passion for donating excess food to local hunger relief agencies as the Owner and Chef of Blckpearl Catering.  “Graves-Jefferson knew increasing numbers of people faced illness and unemployment during COVID-19 and utilized her culinary experience and personal resources to feed more than 200 people every week,” explains McDonough.

The Food Rescue Partnership recognized the RiverCenter|Adler Theatre and Yolanda Graves-Jefferson for their heroic food rescue efforts during the Food Rescue Webinar Series.  Webinar recordings will be available for replay here.

Podcast: FRP Joins Other Eastern Iowa Experts to Discuss Food Insecurities During COVID

In the St. Ambrose Institute for Person-Centered Care’s latest podcast, the topic of food insecurity was the focus – Address Disparities: Food Insecurities and a Pandemic. IPCC Podcast

FRP Chair, Christina McDonough (Community Transformation Specialist at the Scott County Health Department), joined Mike Miller (President & CEO of the River Bend Foodbank) and Ann McGlynn (Executive Director of Tapestry Farms) to explain what it means to be food insecure, how the COVID-19 Pandemic has brought more awareness to the issue, and what programs in the Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois communities are doing to address this complex problem.

The podcast is available on SoundcloudSpotifyApple Podcast, and Google Podcast. It is a collaboration between the St. Ambrose University Institute of Person-Centered Care and KALA Radio.

FRP Awarded 2019 Food Recovery Challenge Regional Award

For a second year, the Food Rescue Partnership has won a Food Recovery Challenge (FRC) Regional Award!

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) presents the awards each year. “We applaud the Food Rescue Partnership for their initiative and innovation in reducing food waste throughout the Quad Cities community,” said EPA Region 7 Administrator Jim Gulliford in the official announcement from the EPA. “Thanks to their combined efforts, this community coalition has helped the Quad Cities reduce hunger, save money, and protect the environment by diverting food waste from landfills.”

fd_reccvry_hierachy_363pxw “The Food Rescue Partnership educates local food establishments about food recovery. So it was a natural fit to become part of the FRC,” said FRP Board Chair Christina McDonough. Some of the activities that helped cinch this award for the FRP include:

“Food Recovery Challenge participants are leaders in showing how preventing food waste and diverting excess wholesome food to people is an environmental win and a cost-saving business decision,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. The majority of FRP activities and materials have been provided through volunteerism, in-kind donations, or grants from stakeholders and community partners. FRP stakeholders continually strategize new and unique opportunities to highlight its Members in Food Rescue and spread the food recovery message.

“This recognition is possible by the hard work and commitment of our stakeholders and community partners,” said McDonough. “Together, we are making the Quad Cities a community dedicated to eliminating food waste.”

Learn more and check out the other award winners at About the 2019 Food Recovery Challenge Regional Award Winners.

A Letter from the FRP Board

FRP Stakeholders:

We have been receiving and fielding questions about COVID-19 and food donation. Please know there is no correlation between food and COVID-19, other than the risk of increased food waste because of canceled events and business closures. Food donations are still being accepted by non-profit hunger-relief agencies.

Just yesterday, Christina coordinated freshly prepared corned beef brisket, cabbage, potatoes, and carrots to Café on Vine. Yolanda rescued Happy Joe’s Pizza from the West Locust Street location.

The FRP Board added a food donation message to the homepage and Lea continues to keep our Facebook page updated. We would also like to highlight community efforts that have begun taking place without direct Food Rescue Partnership efforts, and were inspired by pure compassion and willingness to adapt to follow COVID-19 recommendations:

  1. Chef Chris Carton established a “QC Safe Community Kitchen Operation” under the RiverCenter’s food license to prepare and distribute perishable food that would have been otherwise wasted. You can read about his efforts on our Facebook post here.
  2. River Bend Foodbank, The Salvation Army, Red Cross, and Scott County Emergency Management are collaborating to accept and distribute shelf-stable food.

This is an important time to provide food rescue education and awareness.

What You Can Do

  • Please reach out to your favorite food establishments and help facilitate food donations. If possible, track of your efforts and report back to the FRP board so we can document our efforts in the work plan.
  • Like, comment, and share FRP Facebook and food rescue messages. We’re wanting to get the word out that food donations can still happen, especially with all the perishable foods in danger of being thrown away at closed businesses.
  • Let us know if there are other community efforts, food rescue, or donations we can help share – we want to recognize that these efforts ARE happening in the Quad Cities to help get MORE of them to happen.

Together, we can make a direct impact in the Quad Cities by keeping food as a valuable resource.

Sincerely,

Your FRP Board – Christina McDonough, Pete Vogel, Lea Hensel, and Larry Linnenbrink

2019 Year in Review and 2020 Outlook

Dear Food Rescue Partnership Stakeholders and Friends,

As we ring in the New Year and a new decade, I would like to reflect on the last year and what is to come for the Food Rescue Partnership.

In 2019, we focused on our Food Rescue Recognition Program. We collaborated with the Iowa Waste Reduction Center to create table tents that recognize our Members of Food Rescue and provide tips to reduce food waste at home. You can see these on the tables at some of our Member locations. The recognition program also added Garden Ministry of Asbury United Methodist Church as a Member of Food Rescue bringing us to 17 local establishments that are participating in food rescue efforts.

I am confident Food Rescue Partnership Stakeholders and Community Partners will continue to be our strongest asset. We have 10 organizations with stakeholders actively involved from both sides of the river ranging from health departments, to non-profits, universities, private companies, and community members, and 11 community partners ranging from local, to statewide, to regional. All our outreach activities and materials have been provided through volunteerism, in-kind donations, and grants from your hard work.

To date, the Food Rescue Partnership has diverted more than 48,455 pounds of food from the landfill by making connections to feed hungry people, feed animals, and/or compost.

This year, I look forward to planning and hosting an inaugural trivia night and our third Food Rescue Workshop while continuing to maintain our food rescue outreach and education. None of which would be possible without your dedication to make the Quad Cities a community dedicated to eliminating food waste. Your hard work is making a direct impact to keep food as a valuable resource. On behalf of myself and the Food Rescue Partnership Board, thank you.

Happy New Year,
McDonough_Signature
Christina McDonough, Board Chair

 

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