Alice Soderwall Reuse & Waste Prevention Award - Oregon Food Bank Network
The Oregon Food Bank Network is made up of 21 regional food banks and approximately 970 partner agencies in Oregon and Clark County, Washington. Oregon Food Bank works with partners across the food system collection about 90 million pounds of surplus from farmers, ranchers, fishers, processors, distributors, and grocers. Of that 90 million pounds, about 18 million pounds are from their grocery rescue program, which they call Fresh Alliance.
Fresh Alliance started in 2001 and they work with local grocers and retailers to pick up donations of nutritious, perishable food that is nearing the date they can no longer be sold, but is still good to eat. Five days a week refrigerated trucks travel to retailers to collect this food. Upon returning to their regional food bank warehouse, trucks are unloaded and trained volunteers sort and inspect the food in temperature controlled, sanitized facilities. Meat is immediately frozen while other items are placed into appropriate categories for distribution. Most food is available for pickup by pantries in 24 hours. Food that is spoiled or cannot be safely distributed is composted.
Fresh Alliance is respected nationwide for their food donor partnerships and their ability to safely collect, store, and distribute large quantities of food daily. It has become a national model, replicated in food banks across the country with the assistance of Feeding America.
Photo courtesy of Carter Hubbard; Sanne Steinstra of Washington County and Dena Hastings of Clackamas County accepted the award on the Food Bank's behalf.