Last month, the Food Rescue Partnership welcome another well-known national restaurant to the ranks of the Member in Food Rescue program – Arby’s!
The franchise has been donating food and other supplies to Friendly House in Davenport for the last 15 years! On a larger level, Arby’s participates in the “No Kid Hungry” Campaign . Donations often include various types of meat, cheese, brown sugar, bread, and/or cleaning supplies. Last year alone, Friendly House received $1,000 worth of bacon from Arby’s!
Kevin Ramirez is the Vice President of Operations for Central Illinois and Eastern Iowa locations. Pete Vogel, FRP Board Chair and Kristin Bogdonas, FRP Board Secretary, met with Mr. Ramirez last month to officially welcome Arby’s to the Member in Food Rescue program. Mr. Ramirez said it all got started because they realized how much food was being wasted, and wanted to do something about it. Arby’s recognized that there are a lot of people in need and wanted to give back, so food rescue was a great fit.
Thank you to the Central Illinois and Eastern Iowa Arby’s location for rescuing food and helping to spread the message that food shouldn’t be wasted.
There are two sides to every food rescue story; that of the donor and that of the recipient. The Food Rescue Partnership is excited to welcome a recipient, the Word of Life Church, located in Rock Island, IL, to our Member in Food Rescue program.
Word of Life Church works throughout the community to help those in need. Every other Thursday, Word of Life Church hosts a food pantry at Earl Hanson Elementary School in Rock Island, in partnership with the River Bend Foodbank, and on the third Saturday of each month, Word of Life Church hosts a community kitchen meal site and food pantry in the church’s basement. The community kitchen meal site and food pantry is open and free to the community. This August, Word of Life Church provided meals to 114 families!
“We’ve seen the need in the community and wanted to try to fill it as much as possible,” said Dr. Geri Kruckenburg, Director of the food pantry. For more information about the off-site or on-site food pantry and community kitchen, visit the Word of Life Outreach page.
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.
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.
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!
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.
The 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.
Board 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.
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.
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.
Plus, 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!
Last 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.
McDonough 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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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:
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!