‘A lot of food is wasted’
“Even if it’s dated that day, I know I can get it into the hands of families who need it,” said The Salt Foundation, a Jersey City-based nonprofit that rescues between £800 and £1,200. Founder and sole operator Claudia Wheeler said. of a typical day’s food.
Wheeler said demand for food has increased as some volunteer-run pantries have closed as the pandemic subsides and customers are looking for other sources.
“There were a lot of community organizations during COVID that wanted to help the community,” she said. has increased.”
She collects food from Trader Joe’s, Wegman’s, and Walmart and redistributes it through pantries and churches. She also hosts her own distribution event, and recently increased it to twice a week because she’s “wasting so much food.”
Carlos Roldan, program director of the Food Pantry Program run by the Catholic Charity of Paterson, Franklin and Dover, estimates that 15% of all food is saved from supermarkets and other sources.
The rescued food helps feed about 20,000 people a month, according to Roldan, who distributes 1,000 bags of food a day.
Close to expiration date
He recently received 3 pallets of cheese about 10 days before the March 14th sell-by deadline. The donor decided that the cheese could not be sold by that date, but Roldan knew there would be a high demand, so he accepted.
Produce that has begun to wilt or otherwise appears unsalable is also a likely donation, and Roldan knows his customers will gladly accept it. “A lot of vegetables that are starting to look ugly we can take,” he said.
His suppliers include Wayne’s Costco, which donates six to eight pallets of produce a week, according to a spokesperson.
But now that people are working and shopping, there is less food available to donate, a spokeswoman said. “Right now our sales are picking up, so there aren’t many left to give out the next day. People are going back to work, so they’re shopping.”
Table to Table’s Kinner says donors are motivated by food waste laws and growing awareness that they can reduce waste while also feeding the hungry.
“Many of these companies have an eye on the environment and know they are throwing away good things that people should be eating,” she said. I’m lucky.”