Provided by Imagine
The National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) estimates that in the U.S., 40% of the food, worth $165 billion, gets wasted yearly. Food makes up 20% of the weight of a landfill and creates methane gas – a substance 21 times more toxic than CO2 – as it decomposes. While it may seem too immense a task to deal with on a national scale, one organization has decided to do something about it in Prince William County.
The Prince William Food Rescue – an effort of Action in Community Through Service (ACTS) with founding partner and local marketing agency Imagine – is in the process of bringing a new type of hunger relief program to Northern Virginia. Volunteers will be able to download an app to their phones that show available deliveries in their area, giving them an option to pick them up and drop them off at local food pantries.
As a “Food Rescue Hero,” you can select a rescue on the app that works around your schedule and daily driving – moving food from a donor location (like a store, farmer, caterer, restaurant, etc.) to a distribution location (like a food pantry, church, school, etc.) as you go about your day.
“We intend to divert perfectly good food from our landfills and into the hands of those who need it by mobilizing thousands of volunteers through an app on their phones, creating the ‘Uber of food distribution’ for our region,” says Aaron Tolson, Director of Development for ACTS. “Together, we can redirect food from sanitation to sustainment and end hunger in our region!”
This type of volunteer engagement is perfect for people that want to help, but don’t have much time to do so. “A delivery won’t take but a few miles and a few minutes,” says Patrick King, CEO of Imagine. “So many people in our community want to help those less fortunate but are strapped for time. This is the perfect opportunity for everyone to help without investing more time than they have.”
“The Food Rescue program opens up a whole new dimension for ACTS Hunger Prevention Center,” says Steven Liga, President of ACTS. “While we already pick up from most grocery stores in the area and support four smaller food pantries, we do so with a limited crew of scheduled volunteers and are already at full capacity with our storage and distribution space.” The new program will allow for food transfer from smaller restaurants and deliver them to food pantries throughout the County.
The pilot program for Prince William Food Rescue begins this spring. You can keep up with their activity – as well as news on their app release – on their Facebook page.