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!