Abstract: #Foodrescueheroes Promote Civic Engagement, Hunger Relief, and Community Health (Society for Prevention Research 27th Annual Meeting)

611 #Foodrescueheroes Promote Civic Engagement, Hunger Relief, and Community Health

Friday, May 31, 2019
Bayview B (Hyatt Regency San Francisco)
* noted as presenting author
Jennifer Scofield, MA, CEO, Hunger Network of Greater Cleveland, Cleveland, OH
Lynne Hutchinson, MS, Nutrition Educator & Stay Well Program Coordinator, Hunger Network of Greater Cleveland, Cleveland, OH
INTRODUCTION: Hunger Network of Greater Cleveland (HNGC) is responding to a disconnect between food waste, hunger, health, and environmental sustainability. HNGC is one of just three organizations nationwide chosen by 412 Food Rescue to replicate this model in our own community. 412 Food Rescue has developed an app that connects volunteer drivers who are willing to pick up produce and bread that would otherwise go to waste at local businesses and deliver the food to HNGC hunger centers and other local nonprofit organizations. Volunteers play a critical role in this project. The #FoodRescueHero app links food donor sites (e.g., supermarkets) to their closest food pantry site, and connects volunteers with opportunities to deliver food in their neighborhood or on routes that they already travel for work or school. Finally, this project will reduce HNGC’s costs for purchasing food and help our staff and volunteers utilize food donations as effectively as possible. HNGC will incur no storage or transportation costs, and will not have to hire any delivery drivers.

METHODS: Data collected through the app include metrics such as: #volunteers, #rescues, #miles driven, #pounds of fresh food, #nonprofit recipient sites, #food donor sites #minutes between rescue notification to a rescue being adopted, #miles distance between donor and nonprofit.

RESULTS: Hunger Network will have six months of data for presentation at the conference. In 2019, our goal is to rescue one million pounds of food, a food value estimated at $2.4 million. In year two, we want to reach 1.5 million pounds of food. We are aiming for 6,500 food rescues and in the second year, increase to 7,500. We anticipate building a volunteer corps of 500 new volunteers and by the second year, we have engaged 1,000 volunteers. Based on our goal of 1 million pounds of rescued food, we will reduce the amount of CO2 emissions by approximately 758,000 pounds. Each year, with more rescued food, we will increase the reductions in CO2 emissions.

CONCLUSION: The importance of using tech is transformative for food security initiatives allowing for increased programmatic reach at lower costs. This food rescue program directly benefits those in need and also has a positive impact on our environment.