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

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.