The Food System doesn't take a Holiday
MOM had an extra busy day in its sorting area on Friday. An extra twenty volunteers filled the pantry during a normally quiet afternoon, unloading and sorting pallets upon pallets of boxes of food.
In addition to the food that is received each week from Second Harvest Food Bank, MOM receives a direct drop-shipment of food from area grocery and general merchandise stores. “This is food that would normally first be picked up and brought first to Second Harvest Food Bank for sorting and redistribution,” said Shirley Nennig, Distribution Center Manager at MOM. MOM pays a shared Maintenance Fee on nonperishable foods and products and receives all fresh product with no shared maintenance fee.
In an effort to decrease the time it takes to get to food pantries and in an effort to keep food as fresh as possible on Food Pantry shelves, the drop-ship program brings food directly to larger food pantries that have the space and volunteer resources to handle the volume. These shipments also come without a Shared Maintenance Fee.
This past Friday, MOM offered to take extra drop-shipments, knowing that with Labor Day approaching, food would have to wait even longer to get to area food pantries. Second Harvest was able to divert an additional two trucks, and volunteers stepped up to the plate to sort over 5,000 pounds of food.
“Hunger doesn’t take a vacation. The more food we can rescue and get into our refrigerators and freezers and into the hands of others, the more people will be fed and the more food will be diverted from landfills,” said Nennig.
“This program has been a great additional resource and a way to stretch our food dollars. Drop-shipments are often filled with perishable items, so the sooner we can get them onto the shelves, the better chance they have to get into homes before they expire or are no longer edible,” says Nennig. “It’s win-win, and we’re so grateful to have this incredible relationship with Second Harvest Food Bank.”
Because of the shipment, MOM was also able to offer other area organizations and community centers serving low-income families their current supply of gleaned and donated produce already at the pantry, and MOM’s shelves could then be filled from the produce just received from the drop-shipment.
“We’re excited to spread the bounty of the produce season so we can get fresh food out to everyone who needs it,” said Nennig.
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