Food rescue saves 200,000 pounds of unused eats

A non-profit on a mission to deliver unused food to those who need it is celebrating a milestone.

Prince William Food Rescue, a local initiative to mobilize volunteers to reduce food waste, is announced the delivery of its 200,000th pound of food rescued – the equivalent of nearly 101,000 meals.  It has taken less than six months from its inception in August 2019 to surpass the organization’s first-year goal.

A program of Action in Community Through Service (ACTS), the Prince William Food Rescue organizes deliveries – or “rescues” – from donor locations that include grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations, and hospitals to distribution locations that include churches, community centers, senior centers, mobile home parks, and schools. Volunteers are notified of rescues through a mobile app, where they can claim and track their rescue.

“Our goal to reduce food waste, food insecurity, and GHG emissions here in our community has been successful because of the tremendous people involved”, says Aaron Tolson, Director of Development for ACTS.  “We have a great team collaborating with amazing donors, distributors, and volunteers every day. Together we are changing the food insecurity landscape here in the Prince William region more quickly than I could have imagined.”

In December, the program reached a milestone of 50,000 pounds of food collected. The organization’s top mission is to reduce hunger, which Tolson calls “food insecurity,” which afflicts one in seven area residents, he said in an interview with Potomac Local News in August 2019. The percentage of free or reduced lunches distributed in the county school division is about five points higher than the state 40% average, he added.

The program continues to grow as donor locations, rescues and app downloads increase weekly. You can keep up with their activity – as well information on how to download the app and become a “Food Rescue Hero” – on social media (@pwfoodrescue) or their website pwfoodrescue.org.

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