FRP Debuts Videos Thanks to Fresh Films

downloadEarlier this year, the Food Rescue Partnership was selected as one of two local non-profits to participate in a new program offered by Fresh Films – the chance to work with Quad Cities teens who would create a video and a public service announcement in just five days over Spring Break.

“I was absolutely overjoyed when receiving the news that the FRP was accepted to be a part of the Fresh Films Quad City Spring Break Program,” says Christina McDonough, FRP Vice-Chair. “As a community coalition, the FRP has a very limited budget and the majority of FRP outreach activities and materials have been provided through in-kind donations or grants. Being selected for the Fresh Films Quad City Spring Break Program gives the FRP a new and unique marketing opportunity that we wouldn’t have otherwise had.”

Filming
Students filming at Ross’ Restaurant, one of the FRP’s Members in Food Rescue

The process was a strong collaborative effort. FRP board members and stakeholders met with students to talk about the FRP and talk about ideas for video and the script. From there, the Fresh Films staff let the students run with their ideas.

Pete Vogel, FRP Chair said, “After hearing of our selection and learning more about this program, we rather expected a lot of energy and creativity from this group of young people, and we certainly experienced all of that. But what impressed me the most was the commitment to quality and to an ambitious schedule that they demonstrated. It was a joy to see such enthusiasm paired with the dedication to a project and a cause that they all came to embrace, and it shows in the finished product!”

The students wrote the initial script and it went through editing between FRP and Fresh Films. Then they got to use Fresh Films video equipment to take footage of the Quad Cities community and conduct interviews with some of FRP’s Food Rescue Members, including Ross’ Restaurant, Popcorn Charlie’s, and Outback Steakhouse.

“What’s really impressive is the amount of work the students were able to accomplish just over Spring Break,” says Lea Hensel, an FRP stakeholder. “The students asked great questions and had really neat ideas right off the bat.”

From the FRP Board and its stakeholders, thank you for the Fresh Films teams and the students that created our videos. Watch them below and let us know what you think!

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.

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!

“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.

Help Augustana Become the Next Campus Kitchen

The Campus Kitchens Project has been helping universities and schools set up campus kitchens in big schools as well as small, rural and urban, colleges and high schools through student-powered hunger relief efforts. In fact, there are 51 Campus Kitchens throughout the country and Augustana College in Rock Island wants to become the next.

Augustana is currently competing with three other schools to receive a $5,000 grant. It will be the only one within almost 200 miles. Each school is able to tailor its Campus Kitchen to the specific needs of the campus and community using the following four components:

  1. Food recovery
  2. Meal preparation
  3. Meal delivery
  4. Empowerment and education

Voting is open from May 2-9 and you can vote once every 24 hours per device. Click below to go to Augustana’s page, watch the video and click the vote button below the video.

Augustana has helped out the QC Food Rescue Partnership so much, let’s do the same for Augustana!

Augustana_Video
Click to visit Augustana’s page on the Next Campus Kitchen Competition

 

FRP to Present at Iowa Governor’s Conference on Public Health

GovernorConf_2016We are excited to share that the Food Rescue Partnership has been chosen to present at the Iowa Governor’s Conference on Public Health this year.

“How the Quad Cities Initiative a Grassroots Effort to Increase Food Rescue” will share how the Scott County Health Department engaged community members and organizations to establish the Food Rescue Partnership to increase food rescue from food establishments and retail food stores.

Represented the Food Rescue Partnership will be Christina McDonough from the Scott County Health Department, Lea Hensel from the Iowa Waste Reduction Center, and Pete Vogel, Food Rescue Partnership Board Chair.

For more information, please visit the Iowa Public Health Association website here.

Sneak Peek: Local & Regional Initiatives Panel at the Food Rescue Workshop

Sneak Peek: Food Rescue Workshop PanelThere are great things going on all throughout Iowa to reduce food waste by feeding people instead of landfills, which is the focus of the first panel at the next month’s Food Rescue Workshop.

The FRP will be welcoming four experts that will present varying approaches to the issue of food rescue. Bob Andrlik from Table to Table will describe how his program helps to keep food as a resource, not a waste, along with how the Iowa City initiative got started.

From the middle of Iowa, Aubrey Alvarez, executive director of Eat Greater Des Moines, will be joining us. Aubrey has widespread knowledge to share on building easier connections between donors and recipients, including the development of a mobile app that aims to make this connection even easier.

The final two panelists are from our beloved Quad Cities. Mike Miller, executive director of the River Bend Foodbank and treasurer for the Food Rescue Partnership will provide further information on the hunger issue in the QC, as well as the important distinction between a food bank and a food pantry. And last but not least will be Christina McDonough from the Scott County Health Department. Christina will explain how the issue of food rescue was chosen as the focus for the Food Rescue Partnership as well as information on local questionnaire findings.

Working collaboratively and learning from each other allows these initiatives to implement change throughout Iowa so we can ensure food is being treated as the resource it is. We’ll see you October 20!

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