Food Waste

Great.Com Talks with Executive Director Diana Lara from Food Finders

Feeding Southern California Millions Of Pounds Of Salvaged Food

click image to listen

Danielle Riberio from Great.com interviewed Food Finders as part of their ‘Great.com Talks With…’ podcast. This series is an antidote to negative news stories that aims to shed light on organizations and experts whose work positively impacts the world.

Many think of California as a mecca for the rich, the glamorous, and the famous. But there’s another side to the Golden State. California experiences some of the most significant levels of wealth inequality in the USA. Diana Lara discussed the importance of redistributing food that would otherwise go to waste so that struggling families don’t have to worry about going hungry.

What Is Food Insecurity?

Food insecurity means not knowing where your next meal will come from. By some estimates, up to 15 percent of the people living in Orange County, California, live on or near the poverty line. For many families, paying for food means economizing on other essentials, like basic utilities or school equipment. 

A Food Rescue Organization

Food Finders Executive Director Diana Lara explained that a shocking 30 to 40 percent of manufactured food does not make it to our tables, and an even higher percentage is thrown away directly from our refrigerators. Food Finders’ mission is to provide food to those who need it most. Food Finders works with grocery stores, manufacturers, event centers, hotels, schools, and other organizations to rescue edible food and provide it to a network of 600 food donors (a food bank or food pantry).

Listen to the whole interview to find out about Food Finders’ Food For Kids Program, ensuring families don’t go hungry over the weekend. Food Finders also welcomes donations. 

Great.com is an organization that generates money for climate research. Why climate change? Because they believe that the climate crisis is the biggest threat facing humanity right now. How do they generate money? By moving revenue, they earn directly as an advertiser for the New Jersey online gambling industry. Why online gambling? This is a wealthy industry with endless opportunities for profit. They believe it would be better to take this money and put it towards a great cause — like climate research — instead of going to already wealthy casino owners. Find out more about their unique business model.

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make a will month food findrs augustGiving

A Will? Seriously, Why Do I Need One?

August is MAKE A WILL Month

Not that we want to be doom and gloom, but seriously, making a will is a pretty important part of adulthood. A will is a legal document that sets forth your wishes regarding the distribution of your property and the care of any minor children. No matter what you have, or whether or not you have children, maybe you have pets–they count too, right?

Your wishes are paramount. If no one knows your wishes and you haven’t taken some time to outline them–nothing will be carried out if you die without a will. And just think of those left behind: your heirs, family, siblings, and loved ones may spend additional time, unnecessary money, and tremendous emotional energy to settle your affairs after you’re gone.

We know that no single document will resolve every issue after your death, a will—officially known as a last will and testament—can come close. So we went to some experts to begin the month of August-Make A Will Month-to start you off with some reason why it is essential to have a will. Plus, Free Will offers everyone an opportunity to make a will, for free! So the cost of creating a will cannot be one of the reasons why you don’t make a will this month.

The ten most important reasons to have a will

Written by Freewill.com

1. Save time, money, and stress for your loved ones.

Almost all estates have to go to probate court to start the legal process overseeing the distribution of assets. But when you don’t have a will, the court process — known as intestate administration — can get especially complicated. Without a will, the court has to name an administrator to administer your estate. And this can be time-consuming, expensive, and even contentious for your loved ones.

One of the top reasons to have a will is to streamline this court process. When you have a will, you can choose the person you want to handle your estate, making it easier for your loved ones.

2. Determine who will manage your estate.

As mentioned above, deciding who will handle your estate is a great reason to have a will. When you write a will, you become a “testator” and have the opportunity to nominate an “executor.” This is the person who will be in charge of wrapping up all your affairs. 

Being an executor is an important job. Their responsibilities may include everything from closing bank accounts to liquidating assets. So you should choose someone who is capable and who you trust to carry out these activities. If you don’t choose an executor in your will, the court will pick one for you — and it may not be the person you’d want.  

3. Decide who gets your assets and property — and who does not.

Most people know that a will lets them decide who will get their property. As the testator, you can name people as beneficiaries for specific assets. You can also name beneficiaries for any property that you don’t list — the “residuary” of your estate. When your executor handles your will, they’ll be in charge of distributing these assets.

You might not be aware that you can also use a will to help ensure that some people don’t receive anything. For example, you might want to prevent an ex-spouse from receiving an inheritance. Or, if one child received your support through school, you might want to make sure a second child gets their fair share, too.

4. Choose who will take care of your minor children.

If you’re a parent, you can use your will to nominate a guardian for your minor children. The surviving parent will usually get sole legal custody if one parent dies. But if both parents pass, this is one of the most important reasons to have a will. 

A guardian will be responsible for all your children’s daily needs, including food, housing, health care, education, and clothing. And if you don’t nominate a guardian in your will, a court will have to choose one for you. This could mean that someone you would not have chosen will be raising your kids.

5. Provide a home for your pets.

British shorthair and golden retriever friendly

Owning a pet is a great reason to have a will. With a will, you can make sure that someone takes care of your pet after you die. The law considers pets to be property, so you can’t leave any assets to your pet with your will. But you can name a beneficiary for your pet, leaving them to a trusted friend or family member. You can ask that person to act as a caretaker or guardian for your pet, and even leave them funds to provide for your pet’s care. 

6. Leave instructions for your digital assets.

Your digital assets may include online accounts, such as Facebook or email, and digital files or property (photos, videos, domain names, etc). In your will, you can name a digital executor to manage these assets after you pass. You can leave them to specific people, and also include information on how you want them handled (e.g. if you’d like an account closed). 

7. Lower the potential for family disputes.

If you have complicated family dynamics, there’s a good reason to have a will. When you die without a will, your family will have to guess at what your final wishes were. And chances are, they won’t always agree. This ambiguity can create friction, and even fights, which sometimes lasts a lifetime. Creating a will solves the problem by eliminating the guesswork.

8. Support your favorite causes and leave a legacy.

Many people want to leave a positive impact on the world after they pass. And a great way to do this is to support the charities or causes you love most. When you write a will, you can preserve your legacy by leaving a part of your estate to a charitable organization. 

If you use FreeWill to make your will, this is super simple to do. Our tool allows you to select your favorite causes with just a few clicks.

9. Provide funeral instructions.

You may not want to think about your own funeral. But if you do think about it now, and leave instructions with your will, you can lessen the burden on your loved ones after you pass. While these instructions aren’t legally binding, they can give your executors and loved ones some guidance on your wishes. 

When you include instructions, you can name a funeral executor to manage the process, give suggestions for the service and location, make requests for your final resting place, and more. 

10. It’s easy to make a will and gain peace of mind.

Some folks put off creating or updating their will because they assume their loved ones will automatically get an inheritance. But this isn’t always true. Probate can be a long and expensive process for your heirs. Plus, a will only addresses your current circumstances. You should update it over time as your needs and the people in your life change.

When you create or update your will, you can look after your loved ones and give them an easy map to follow after you pass. This gives many people peace of mind, making it one of the most important reasons to have a will.

And it’s easier than ever to make a will. Unless you have a large or particularly complex estate, contentious family dynamics, or feel like you need expert advice from an attorney, you can prepare your will without a lawyer. With FreeWill, for example, you can create your own will for free, using our simple, online self-help tools. 

Get started here.

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Source: https://www.freewill.com/learn/10-reasons-to-have-a-will

To understand your options for legacy giving, please reach out to Lisa Hoffmaster

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Whay Wate Food Wednesday InternFood Waste

An Interns Journey to Fight Food Waste and Reduce Hunger

#WhyWasteFoodWednesday

By Kelly Alarcon

As a full-time Nutrition and Dietetics student and intern at Food Finders, nutrition and reducing hunger and food waste are an important part of my life.  I learned in my junior year of school at California State, Long Beach how many people in the United States go to bed hungry every night, so many of them children, and my heart broke.  I knew then that my passion for nutrition and eating for wellness was not all I was passionate about.

 I quickly became vested in learning how I could not only educate people on the benefits of healthy eating but also help reduce food waste while getting that food to those in need. 

Student, Kelly Alarcon

I realized that in addition to my love of nutrition, my knack for meal planning and shopping on a limited budget was something that could play a big part in helping people to reduce food waste. The question for me was how could I combine these two skills and make a bigger impact? 

Food Waste is a Problem

Food waste is a huge problem in the United States with the vast majority of waste occurring in the home.  Poor planning and expiration dates on the food we purchase are large contributors.  Many would rather toss food they aren’t sure about, which affects the environment and wastes billions of gallons of water each and every month.

43% of food waste stat

Food Finders is an amazing solution to the food waste problem. They have a mission to “eliminate hunger and food waste” through the rescue of food in Southern California, and then they repurpose that food through a network of local community partners. I especially like the final part of their mission: “…while improving nutrition in food insecure communities.”

That is why I am an intern and a Nutrition Talks Educator with them. I have seen some amazing things while working here and for me, the most impressive is that last year, in 2021 they rescued 15,917,982 pounds of food!

Food that became over 13 million meals.

Resources and Education

USDA Food Keepers App

We are working hard to provide education and resources that explain not only how to properly store food but how to interpret the various expiration dates we see on food such as “use by”, ‘sell by” etc.  

The FoodKeepers application supported by the USDA is a great resource to help people sort through the confusing world of labels and dates.  It can help you not only interpret the varying expiration date labels but can also explain the best storage methods for various foods to reduce waste.  

Meal Planning

Meal planning is one of the biggest ways that all of us can stop food waste.  Who hasn’t gone to the grocery store hungry and bought more than they needed?

When you plan your meals, or even just your shopping, it reduces food waste.  And don’t forget that planning ahead is also easy on your wallet–a big plus!  Planning your meals for the week and then creating your shopping list based on your meals can cut food waste by 15% or more.  Imagine if we all did that?!

Tip For Cutting Food Waste

  • Shop the grocery store weekly ads. With the cost of food up by 25% or more, finding proteins that are on sale that week is where I start my meal planning.
  • DO NOT go to the store hungry. Going grocery shopping hungry guarantees I will buy some overpriced and over-processed snacks that I promptly eat on the way home.  This not only takes me out of budget but is unhealthy.  
  • I stick to your list that coordinates with the meals you want to make for the week.
  • Prepare your fruits and veggies for the week–so they don’t go bad.  If I have salads planned I pre-cut and wash my lettuce, carrots, red cabbage, and cucumbers. I also wash and cut up any melons or fruit for the week as well.  Doing this makes busy weeks easier and allows for a nutritious snack of fruit that is easy to grab.

Nutrition Talks Program

nutrition talks from Food finders1

This is all information I use when in a Nutrition Talk event with one of our partner agencies.  I do a basic overview of nutrition and its importance with interactive tools that keep people engaged in what they are learning. One example is my Nutrition Facts Label workshop which starts with a scavenger hunt looking for a pantry item with a nutrition facts label and ties up with a Q & A on what was learned.  This coming week’s talk will also have Isabel Gallegos, my supervisor and co-creator of the Nutrition Talks Program. We will be looking in the partner agencies’ refrigerators and pantries to create a meal with what they have deemed as surplus foods that they have indicated typically go to waste.  It is an eye-opening event!

This is just one more of what Food Finders does to reduce hunger and food waste.  It isn’t enough that we are getting food into the hands of those who are in need but also to educate them on the many nutrient-dense meals that can be created while reducing waste.   

Resources for Seniors

#StopFoodWasteWednesday #nutritiontalks #tipsforzerowaste #foodfindersinc

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Kelly Alarcon, a Student at California State University, Long Beach with a concentration in Nutrition and Dietetics has a passion for showing others the path to wellness through nutrition while reducing hunger and food waste.  https://www.linkedin.com/in/kelly-alarcon-194313220/

Nutrition Talks Cooking Demo image 1
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Why Waste Food Wed potatoFood Waste

Are Sprouted Potatoes Safe to Eat?

#WhyWasteFoodWednesday

What Can We Do With Old Potatoes?

We have all done it. We cannot resist buying that big bag of Idaho potatoes, yams, or delicious sweet potatoes.

It is sometimes cheaper to buy that whole bag of potatoes, so we do it with the best intentions to make delicious and nutritious meals. But then reality kicks in–that bag sits on the counter for weeks sprouting little round ‘eyes’. And sometimes, if it sits long enough, some of them will have a green color. Is this safe to eat?

According to the National Capital Poison Center (poison.org):

Potatoes contain two kinds of glycoalkaloids, both natural toxins, called solanine and chaconine. Exposure to light greatly increases the formation of chlorophyll and glycoalkaloids. Chlorophyll is responsible for the green color of many plants and is not toxic. However, the green of chlorophyll is a marker that can let you know that there could be an excess of glycoalkaloids. The entire potato plant contains glycoalkaloids, but the highest concentration is found in the leaves, flowers, “eyes,” green skin, and sprouts. The lowest concentration is found in the white body of the potato.

Sprouted spuds aren’t necessarily destined for the landfill: the potato itself is likely still safe to eat, so long as you cut away the little growths and green spots. And you can cook it up, and mash it with salt and butter, but what if you made something even more fun?

Homemade Chips

Homemade-chips

Making your own potato or vegetable chips, whether you fry or bake them, is easier than you think. We have found that once you do make your own, it is hard to go back to the oversalted store version!

Here are the advantages: You get to pick which vegetables to use. And you choose the spices and seasonings you want to use for your homemade chips. And: Making your own chips is fun and easy.

Some Tips: Root vegetables are best, such as carrots, parsnips, potatoes, and beets. Not only are they colorful, but they each also have a flavor of their own. Just make sure you remove those little “eyes” and cut off any part of the skin that looks green.

Recipe

Ingredients
1 large carrot, trimmed
1 large parsnip, trimmed
1 sweet potato
1 Yukon Gold potato
1 large beet
Canola oil, for frying

Basic Seasoning Mix:

2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder

The Step-By-Step from Spruce Eats

There are plenty of recipes out there to make your homemade chips, but Spruce Eats is one of those sites that is always thinking about food waste. Here is this weeks recipe:

Step 1

Get all of your ingredients together first. This makes the whole at-home cooking process much easier. So start by pulling all of those potatoes and questionable veggies. Get your seasoning choices out. Bowls, oil, pans, and peelers too!

home-potao-ships-why-waste-food-wed1

Step 2

Peel off the skin, making sure all those little ‘eyes’ are gone as well as any green tone on the Idaho potato.

Step 3

Now slice them thin. It helps if you have a mandoline, a food processor fitted with the 2 mm slicing blade, but if don’t have one then a sharp knife works just as well when cutting the vegetables into very thin slices (1/16-inch thick).

home-potao-ships-why-waste-food-wed1

Step 4

Fill a large bowl with ice water and transfer the carrot, parsnips, sweet potato, and either Yukon gold or Idaho potato to the ice water. [Note: do not miss this step! soaking any starch produce item in cold water like this makes an absolute difference!]

Now, fill a small bowl with ice water and transfer the beet slices to the smaller bowl of water. Let the vegetables sit in the water for 30 minutes.

home-potao-ships-why-waste-food-wed4

Step 5

Line 2 baking sheets with several layers of paper towels. Drain the vegetables and arrange them in a single layer on the towels. Pat the vegetables to remove any excess water.

homemade-potato-chips-why-waste-food-wed5

Step 6

First, Preheat your oven to 200 degrees.

Second, line 2 plates with paper towels.

homemade-potato-chips-why-waste-food-wed7

Step 7

Heat three (3) inches of oil in a heavy-bottomed Dutch oven over medium-high heat until it reaches 350 F using a deep-frying thermometer. This will take about 8 to 10 minutes.

homemade-potato-chips-why-waste-food-wed8

Step 8

Add about 1/2 cup of vegetable slices to the oil and fry until crisp and golden brown, about 2 minutes.

homemade-potato-chips-why-waste-food-wed9

Step 9

Remove the vegetables to the paper towels to drain.

homemade-potato-chips-why-waste-food-wed10

Step 10

First, remove the paper towels from the baking sheets and spread the fried vegetable chips in a single layer on the baking sheets. then place in the oven to keep warm.

Repeat with the remaining vegetables in batches, making sure to maintain the oil temperature of 350 F.

homemade-potato-chips-why-waste-food-wed11

Step 11

Put the warm chips in a large bowl, add the seasoning mixture of your choice, and toss lightly.

Our basic seasoning mixture from above: In a small bowl, combine the salt, garlic powder, and onion powder. Feel free to be creative here and try different spices on different batches.

homemade-potato-chips-why-waste-food-wed12

Enjoy!

Benefits of NOT Wasting Potatoes and Vegetables

In addition to saving the planet we all live on, when households save food through consumption, you personally save money. But more important is gaining the knowledge that one small action (throwing out just one potato with ‘eyes’) has a ripple effect in your own neighborhood.

  • Water is conserved
  • CO2E is contained.
  • Landfills grow smaller.
  • Your family learns an important lesson in community action–because not everyone in your neighborhood has enough nourishing food on their plates tonight.

Remember: Think before you buy food. Plan your meals and use every part that is edible to #StopFoodWaste.

For more benefits of stopping food waste go to the EPA.gov site here.

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Who is Food Finders?

Food Finders is a food rescue nonprofit organization with a primary focus on reducing hunger while also reducing food waste. We coordinate the daily pick-up of donated excess food from grocers, restaurants, hospitals, schools, manufacturers, and more; food is then distributed directly and immediately to nonprofit recipients, such as pantries, shelters, youth programs, and senior centers, to be used for serving hot meals or as grocery distribution for people who are struggling and food insecure.
Our Food Rescue program ensures millions of pounds of wholesome food helps feed people, not landfills. Operating from a single headquarters in Orange County, California, we serve multiple counties within Southern California. By engaging a huge network of volunteers, we’re able to quickly scale and rescue enough food for 30,000 meals per day.

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Why Waste Food Wednesday trashFood Waste

How can we all cut food waste?

#WHY WASTE FOOD WEDNESDAY

According to Refed

Our food system is radically inefficient. In 2019, the U.S. let a huge 35% of the 229 million tons of food available go unsold or uneaten. We call this surplus food, and while a very small portion of it is donated to those in need and more is recycled, the vast majority becomes food waste, which goes straight to landfills, incineration, or down the drain, or is simply left in the fields to rot. Overall, ReFED estimates that 24% of all food in the U.S. – 54 million tons – goes to these waste destinations.

That’s almost 90 billion meals’ worth of food that we’re letting go unsold or uneaten each year, roughly 2% of U.S. GDP!

Taking Action To Help Cut Food Waste: 3 Quick Steps

Every household in the United States can do small actions to make a big impact on Food Waste.

  1. SHOP SMARTER. Every household buys too much food. 43% of the food that ends up in landfills comes from individuals. And it is food that doesn’t need to be thrown away. SOLUTION: Buy what you need. Think ahead and make lists of the recipes and meals you will prepare–and prepare them! Get on Instagram and start jotting down some of those amazing meal recipes and then buy only what you need for that week. Sure, it’s a hassle to have to go to the store a couple of times a week, but think about all the food destroying our atmosphere!!
  2. STORE YOUR FOOD CORRECTLY. Be curious about your food–knowing which foods can sit on the counter. For instance, potatoes, tomatoes, garlic, cucumbers, and onions should never be refrigerated. These items should be kept at room temperature. Other items should NOT be stored together. For example, foods that produce more ethylene gas than those that don’t is another great way to reduce food spoilage. Ethylene promotes ripening in foods and could lead to spoilage. Bananas, Avocados, Tomatoes, Cantaloupes, Peaches, Pears, Green onions –you want to keep potatoes, apples, leafy greens, berries, and peppers away from them to avoid premature spoilage.
  3. DON’T BE JUDGEMENTAL WITH YOUR PRODUCE. This is the most ironic of all the tips (and there are many, many more!) Ugly fruits and vegetables get tossed every day–by you, by your family, even by the grocery stores. But “ugly” doesn’t mean not incredibly delicious and nutritious. A carrot with two tails is just a carrot with two tails–it shouldn’t be scary or avoided. Some Italian cooks swear by the “ugly tomatoes” they find in the markets and some grocery chains are even saving space for those delicious odd-shaped produce items. think out of the box and reach for items that are more likely to be unsold and tossed…I am sure that somewhere in heaven you will get extra points for not being judgmental!! Check out some of our fun recipes for ugly food here.

If each one of us can stop food waste at home–the problem begins to shrink. Here is a great resource from the EPA. Stop Food Waste

The Good News?

Food Waste is a solvable problem

We can stop food waste

Every household can do something to stop food waste. Start with the three simple steps above and be mindful that we are wasting food.

Then, Volunteer your time and efforts to help rescue food. Yes, RESCUE food! It is a real thing. Food Finders goes out every day and picks up thousands of pounds of good food that would normally end up in landfills. Through our network of volunteers, we rescue the food and then deliver it to community partners who service families in our neighborhoods. The benefits of Food Rescue Volunteering include, helping our planet and preserving millions of gallons of water from waste, but did you know that in rescuing food you are also helping to feed millions of people?

Hunger is a problem and food Insecurity is a complex issue (and we are not here to solve that.) What we are working toward is a solution to feeding and nourishing people (families, children, and seniors) who need access to food.

Feeding people is important to our community and to our economy. When people are nourished and fed they feel better, and perform better in school and in their jobs. We all benefit. When Food Finders picks up food from a grocery store or bakery, we give it to local non-profits at no cost, so that they can feed their community. We are feeding all of our communities!

Make time to be a Food Waste Hero

It doesn’t take much to be a hero.

All of us have two to three hours a week to offer a helping hand. That’s one less Netflix movie watched, or several hundred mindless moments gained not swiping through our social media feed. And what if you could do something that changed the earth, impacted people’s lives, and also gave you something really cool to post on your Instagram? Being a Food Rescue Hero has perks!!

Volunteer This Month To Help

If you live in or near Long Beach, California, we have got something really important coming up. The Long Beach Unified School District (LBUSD) is closing for the summer on the 15th & 16th of June. They do a really great job of donating excess food several days a week throughout the school year, but at the year-end, it’s time to empty out the cupboards and refrigerators so that nothing goes to waste.

Food Finders has over 80 Schools in Long Beach that are closing for the summer and we need all hands on deck to collect and deliver the food. Here are the details:

Wednesday, June 15th from 1 PM to 3 PM

Thursday, June 16th from 8 AM to 11 AM

Reach out to our Volunteer Coordinator, Kevin via email or call him at (562) 283-1400 x 112 if you can help Food Finders to rescue all of this food from over 80 schools in Long Beach!

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Food Recovery Tell All RecordingFood Waste

Food Recovery Tell-All Panel (Recording)

#WHY WASTE FOOD WEDNESDAY

In case you missed the live presentation of the Food Recovery Tell All Panel from Food Rescue Hero last week, we have the recording to share with you.

This incredible three-person panel included Food Finders with Diana Lara, Executive Director. What is food recovery? How is this impacting our communities? What are the challenges and insights from three industry experts who are leading the food waste recovery industry.

Food Recovery Panel with Diana Lara of Food Finders

The topic of course was Food Recovery–the process and the challenges of rescuing food. so many great questions and insights. In case you missed the live broadcast of the Food Recovery Tell-All Panel we have the recording below!

Click here: https://youtu.be/ixZQvMHs9H4

Enjoy the panel discussion and please share with those you think would find this information helpful!

If you would like more information about Food Recovery or Food Finder’s work in Southern California, please email dlara@foodfinders.org

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Regrow-romaine-lettuce-at-homeFood Waste

Don’t Throw It Out! Regrow It!

Some people don’t have enough food, while others are eating too much. There’s only one way to fix this problem—WE DO SOMETHING.

43% of food waste comes from individuals.  Not restaurants or large businesses—you and me!  The good news about that number is that we can do something about it every single day!

#WhyWasteFoodWednesday

Today we are going to stop a common food waste problem and give you even more food in the process.  No, we don’t have a magic wand over here at Food Finders, but we do have an incredible tip to get our Wednesday started.

Don’t Throw Away The Bottom of Your Romaine Lettuce

You can grow another one!

Bottom of the lettuce stop food waste
  1. Cut off the bottom of the lettuce.
  2. Place the flat part of the lettuce bottom in a bowl
  3. Put in water
  4. Change the water every day
  5. Wait for it to grow roots
  6. Magic! Another meal is growing.
https://www.gettystewart.com/how-to-regrow-romaine-lettuce-from-the-stem/

Food Waste is Destroying the Earth

Throwing out romaine lettuce is like shooting a hole in our atmosphere (with C02E from the landfills) and emptying out precious gallons of water (that go into growing that lettuce!)

Americans waste 150,000 tons of food each day – equal to a pound per person

Do Something To Make A Difference

Why throw good food away when you can do one small thing to make that food into a delicious meal—for your family or for others who need it.

Food Finders is working every day to rescue food in Southern California.  We pick it up with the help of hundreds of committed volunteers and then deliver that food to local non-profit agencies who share it with our neighbors in need.

Food Finders Volunteers picking up donated food and delivery it to a community non-profit

If you are looking to be a part of the solution and would like to volunteer your time to help pick up and deliver rescued food, click here.

Become a Share Table Member and Multiply Your Impact

If you would like to help grow our operations with a monthly donation that will help to create meals, then click here.

Share this tip with ten people you know and ask them to share it with ten people they know. If we can all do just one thing every day to stop food waste imagine what our neighborhoods could be!!

Food Finders is a food rescue nonprofit organization with a primary focus on reducing hunger while also reducing food waste. We coordinate the daily pick-up of donated excess food from grocers, restaurants, hospitals, schools, manufacturers, and more; food is then distributed directly and immediately to nonprofit recipients, such as pantries, shelters, youth programs, and senior centers, to be used for serving hot meals or as grocery distribution for people who are struggling and food insecure.

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Casa Youth ShelterCommunity

Our Community Partner Casa Youth Shelter

On any given day in the U.S., thousands of teens go homeless and hungry. Too often, youth reach a breaking point, unable to face another day of school bullying, parental abuse, stress–or hunger. Yet when we think of homeless people, our minds often form the image of an older male adult curled up on a sidewalk or a park bench. Shockingly, 34% of homeless people in the U.S. are actually under 24 years of age. This is why Casa Youth Shelter right here in our own community is such a significant, often lifesaving, resource.

The shelter houses 12 youth (aged 12 to 17) when at capacity, and in addition to offering a safe harbor and hot meals, they provide group activities, peer interaction, and counseling services for both the youth and parents. Ideally, after spending time at the shelter, the residents return to their families or move on to a safe, crisis-free living situation. While at the shelter they are on a temporary break from school, focusing on improving their situation and receiving the help they need. Some former residents continue with counseling services, and the services are offered remotely to nonresidents as well.

Recently, there has been a change in the typical resident profile, according to Josue Montenegro, a 7-year staff member. Many of the youth seeking safe harbor are transgender and have been rejected, bullied, and abused by family and friends. For them particularly, a place to find support and to reset is essential. And it comes as no surprise that in this past year during the pandemic, teen depression and anxiety have skyrocketed, so Casa Youth has been an invaluable haven.

Food Rescue Helps Homeless With Meals

Food Finders has been partnered with the shelter for 20 years and donates wholesome food twice a week. The staff prepares meals, sometimes engaging and teaching the residents cooking skills, and generally ensures that everyone receives a healthy meal. Any excess donated food is made available via an onsite pantry, free to area families or youth in need.

Food Finders is so grateful to count Casa Youth Shelter as one of our many partners that help serve our local communities. Thank you for all you do!

Updated Study on Homeless by the Chamber of Commerce

Read more about homelessness: https://www.chamberofcommerce.org/homelessness-in-america/

#foodfindersinc  #FoodRescue #reducehunger #foodrecovery #Volunteer #Charity #helpfoodinsecurecommunities #HelpEndHunger #EndHunger #fightinghunger #rescuingfood #Donate #makeanimpact

If you would like to make an impact on reducing food waste and hunger help us grow our food rescue operations: Donate

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why-waste-food-wednesday-carrotFood Waste

The Mighty Carrot: Don’t Waste It

#WHY WASTE FOOD WEDNESDAY

Carrots are a hearty vegetable with so many nutrients that it is impossible not to use every bit! Here are some tips to keep you storing and preparing the best possible way without waste.

Storing Carrots

Remove the tops of carrots if you buy them with the green leaves attached.  Keep them in a plastic bag in the coolest part of your refrigerator for about two weeks.  And a warning: keep carrots away from apples and potatoes—their gasses will make your carrots bitter.

Another interesting storage tip is that you can store carrots in empty, cleaned milk cartons.  Seal it shut and they should last longer.

Recipes Galore

  • Peel your carrots, slice them into rounded coins and toss them into a mixture of butter and honey.  Make sure they are fully coated and then roast them in the oven for about 30 minutes at 350.  Delicious hot or cold.
carrots roasted with honey
  • Shred your carrots and put them in your salads, sprinkle them on top of sandwiches for an added crunchy bite.
  • Mashed carrots can be eaten alone or blended with mashed potatoes.  If that doesn’t sound good, then sautee some onions in butter and throw in the mashed mixture.  Add ginger for a spicy taste.  The onions add a whole new dimension.
  • Shred your carrots and some beets and apples.  Blend the altogether with a little mayo for an amazing salad experience.
  • Blend up your carrots with apples and you have an incredible smoothie to get your day started!

Don’t Waste Carrots

Soup is nothing without carrots so if you have some lying around then add them to any broth you are making.  Their sweetness adds a nutritional dimension to any type of soup.  Plus pureed carrot soup is wonderful!

And of course, if all else fails, slice up the carrots into sticks and snack on them.  Don’t like raw?  Then steam them.  The flavor of steamed carrots is exceptional!

40% of carrots are thrown into the trash—which means all the water that went into growing them is also thrown out.  Try new ways of preparing these nutritious vegetables.  Your body will be happy and so will the earth!

Adding carrots to soup is delicious

If you have any interesting tips for preparing food to avoid waste, send them to us at marketing@foodfinders.org

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going bananas about food wasteFood Waste

Going Bananas Over Food Waste

#WHY WASTE FOOD WEDNESDAY

What is the Impact of Uneaten Food?

When food goes uneaten and is thrown away, all the resources that went into preparing that food go to waste as well. Think about water for a moment…without water, we cannot live, and yet, when there is an ugly, over-ripe banana on the counter we can toss it in the trash without a thought.

About 5-gallons of water per day is required for one banana tree.

One banana tree takes about 9-months to produce bananas

Over the 270 days it takes to produce bananas, that tree will use over 1,300 gallons of water.

Americans throw away 5 billion bananas every year!

That means billions of gallons of water are thrown away too!

Let’s Make Eating Bananas Fun & Easy with Banana “Ice Cream”

Sarah, A flavor-loving nutritionist at Live-Eat-Learn posted a great recipe for all those ripe to over-ripe bananas you are considering tossing into a landfill. With just one ingredient and a great how-to recipe, we can show you how to prevent good food from being tossed away.

1-Ingredient Ice Cream. source: live-eat-learn

The Uglier, The Better!

If you are lucky enough to have bananas at home that look like the “over-ripe” picture above–then you are in for a real treat! The darker the banana peel, the sweeter the flavor of ice cream. Plus, that means you don’t need to add any sweeteners to make a delicious dessert.

Recipe

Step 1: Chop your bananas into chunks and lay them in a single layer on a parchment-lined plate or tray. It’s important that you peel the bananas before freezing! Bananas will take about 2 hours to freeze.

Tip: this is a great way to save bananas for later. source: live-eat-learn

Step 2: Let the bananas thaw a bit (just 5 minutes or so), which will make them slightly easier to blend, then throw them into a heavy-duty blender or food processor. Even an electric hand mixer will work.

source: live-eat-learn

Step 3: To get this delicious treat blending more easily, you can do a few things. Either let the bananas thaw a bit so they do not rock solid, or add a splash of milk (any milk will do!) until things start moving. Scrape the sides and push the ice cream down into the blades of the blender or food processor until you get a smooth, soft-serve consistency.

source: live-eat-learn

Step 5: Storage of all food is critical so to store this banana ice cream, cover it in plastic wrap (or transfer it to an airtight container), and freeze. When ready to eat again, let it soften on the counter for a few minutes before scooping.

Storage is important. source: live-eat-learn

Variety Makes This Even More Delicious

Vanilla: Use the base recipe then add ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract and a pinch of salt.

Tropical: Use 3 frozen bananas, ½ cup of frozen mango, and ½ cup of frozen pineapple. Instead of using milk to blend, add a splash of orange or pineapple juice.

Mocha: Use the base recipe then add 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder, 1 teaspoon of instant coffee, and a handful of chocolate chips.

Peanut Butter: Use the base recipe and then add 2 large tablespoons of peanut butter.

#StopFoodWasteWednesday

Nourishing ourselves is important for a long healthy life but there are many people around us who cannot afford to buy food that will feed their whole family so don’t be wasteful! Buy what you need and store safely what you cannot eat before it goes bad. And share your favorite 1-Ingredient recipes with us and PLEASE SHARE

Food Finders, Inc

To learn more about Food Finder’s food rescue programs please reach out to us by visiting our contact page: https://foodfinders.org/contact-us/

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time for spring cleaning food driveEvents

It’s Time For Spring Cleaning

Let’s Gear Up for “Summer To End Hunger” Food Donation Event

Springtime is the best season to think about cleaning out cabinets and drawers and we want to help you make room for summer with some ideas to feel better and make an impact!

Your Kitchen Cupboards Called to Say: “Help!”

Overstocked with Pandemic shutdown “hoarding,” our cupboards may be filled with too much food. Check the labels and start putting food items in a box that are not going to get used. Donating overstocked non-perishable foods are a wonderful way to organize and make an impact in your community.

Food Drives Help To Feed People With The Most Need

So much of our foods get thrown away when they can be donated and redistributed through organizations like Food Finders. See our Food List below

When You Donate Food To Avoid Food Waste and Help The Environment

Food banks are especially important in the food distribution process.  They work with their local communities to ensure that everyone has access to healthful foods. They solicit, receive, store, and distribute fresh produce (when available) and pantry staples (like the foods we are listing below). 

Food Banks and Pantries help people get connected to other essential benefits and serve as community hubs for volunteers who are serving their local communities.

How To Host A Food Drive

Any business, community center, Library, retailer, or city location can host a food drive.  Food Finders will provide a storage bin, signage, and donation food lists. Food Finders will also arrange to pick up all the collected food items from you! 

Email meden@foodfinders.org or give Mark a call at 562-283-1400 Ext 117.

Food Drive

What Kinds of Food Can You Donate?

1.  Applesauce

Plastic jars of unsweetened applesauce serve as a great quick snack with just enough fiber and vitamin C. Applesauce is also a smart choice because it preserves well on food bank shelves.

2. Canned Beans

Full of protein and fiber, canned beans offer a superb and nourishing way to fill an empty tummy. Try to look for low-sodium variations whenever available.

3. Canned Chicken

While canned chicken may seem like a simple choice, it is high in protein content and can be a perfect item for those on the go. Additionally, its versatility makes it a popular item at food banks. Try adding this non-perishable item into soups, casseroles, sandwiches, or crackers!

4. Canned Meat (SPAM and Ham)

Do you have some extra SPAM or canned ham? If so, make sure to drop it off at your local food donation site. It’s shelf-stable, does not require much preparation or equipment to eat, and provides a quick source of protein that keeps individuals feeling full for longer periods of time.

5. Canned Fish (Tuna and Salmon)

Canned fish has various vitamins, especially omega-3 fatty acids and protein. Many food banks are in need of canned tuna and salmon because it makes for such a convenient and easy meal.

6. Canned Vegetables

Residents in need are continuously requesting lively, nutrient-dense, and fiber-rich vegetables. Make sure to grab low-sodium options. Canned variations also last the longest on a food bank’s shelves. Food banks frequently hand out recipes that utilize the items they have in stock. 

7. Crackers

Are an ideal snack or can be used as a base for canned proteins. They are also shelf-stable and portable, making them perfect for snacks and lunches. Whole-grain crackers are the best bet.

8. Cooking Oils (Olive and Canola)

Food banks heavily depend on these essential and costlier items to be donated. Canola and olive oils are the preeminent choices because of their monounsaturated fats and minor flavor. 

9. Dried Herbs and Spices

It is hard to cook a flavorsome meal without herbs and spices. So, drop a few in your shopping cart to donate! We suggest sticking to the fundamentals: oregano, basil, salt, pepper, rosemary, thyme, and cinnamon.

10. Fruit (Canned or Dried)

Fruit, whether dried, canned or in plastic cups can make superb snacks for young children and adults. Select those that are packaged in water or fruit juice instead of sugary syrups.

11. Nuts

With a handful of nuts, they deliver protein and nutrients instantaneously, which has made them perfect for snacks and lunches. Food banks have a difficult time obtaining them due to their higher price, so they heavily rely on donations. Go for unsalted varieties when possible.

12. Granola Bars

Food banks are continuously in need of fast and easy items that families can throw into lunches or eat on the go. Granola bars are the answer. Try to look for the ones that have fewer grams of sugar, made with oats, or other whole grains.

13. Instant Mashed Potatoes

Instant potatoes last a very long time and require minimal cooking tools and ingredients. They are also a beloved staple item in every age group, making an item that goes quickly off Food Banks’ shelves. 

14. Grocery Meals in a Box

An entire meal that’s shelf-stable and in one package is the best way to nourish a hungry tummy. It is very popular with those who do not have a stocked kitchen or tools needed to prepare a meal. The best options are pasta, rice, and soup kits (particularly those that are lower in sodium and higher in fiber and protein). 

15. Pasta

In Food banks, pasta is a staple item since it can be easily turned into a meal. Opt for whole-grain selections that offer more fiber and nutrition compared to white pasta.

16. Peanut Butter

Peanut butter is a high source of protein that can be eaten alone or combined with other food items. Since both children and adults like it, peanut butter is easily one of the most desired items at food banks.

17. Rice

This popular item is filling, versatile, easy to prepare, and store. Consider substituting white rice for brown rice instead because it is a healthier option with much more fiber to offer. Quinoa is another great alternative item to donate if feasible.

18. Shelf-stable and Powdered Milk

The best part of this item is that no refrigeration is required to keep it fresh, which makes it available to everyone. More importantly, milk delivers a much-needed source of calcium and protein (especially for a developing child).

19. Whole Grain Cereal

This is another popular item with all age groups. Whole-grain cereal makes for a healthy and quick breakfast or snack. Some selections are low in sugar and high in fiber that helps provide nutrients to good digestive bacteria, which then release substances that help lower levels of inflammation body-wide.

20. Honey

This is a sweet, viscous food substance that can be used as a natural sweetener. It is rich in antioxidants and propolis, which each promote burn and wound healing. It can also be used to help suppress coughing in children. 

21. Soup, Stew, and Chili

These substances act as a warm and satisfying lunch or dinner. You can find these items in canned or packaged form and they are often sold as a complete meal with protein (meat) and veggies. If possible, attempt to find reduced-sodium alternatives.

What to skip when donating to your local food bank:

  • Junk food (chips, cookies, candy) 
  • Packaged items with glass or cellophane (these can be easily broken in transit)
  • Items that require can openers or cooking equipment
    • Instead, try to donate pop-top cans–whether for veggies, meat or fruit

Start Your Own Food Drive with Food Finders Help. Learn More https://foodfinders.org/event/summer-to-end-hunger-food-drive/

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Community

Food Hub in Long Beach Opens

How do you find fresh fruits and vegetables in a “food desert”?

  1. “an urban area in which it is difficult to buy affordable or good-quality fresh food.”

The solution is that Food Finders raises the necessary funds to put a Food Hub in a community that needs fresh produce to eat more nutritious meals.

Saturday, April 30th our first Food Hub in Long Beach had its grand opening. We are excited and proud to partner with so many wonderful community partners to make this happen

Inside the refrigerated Food Hub at Admiral Kidd Park in Long Beach
Fresh Fruits and veggies along with packed non-perishable foods for our community partners.
Celebrating the Food Finders Food Hub in Long Beach
Founder, Arlene Mercer (2nd R) celebrating our Food Hub Grand Opening

Read More in the Long Beach Post.

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recipes in a bag-blogFood Waste

Food 4 Kids Maruchan Noodle Bag

How do you take 16 ingredients in a bag and turn it into nutritious meals over a two-day weekend? You ask our intern Kelly!

Kelly is a nutrition student at California State University, Long Beach CSULB. Every week we have been challenging her to head out to the Food Finder’s Warehouse, empty one Food 4 Kids bag, take photos, and then come back with recipes to feed a family over the weekend nutritiously.

Nutrition Is In Our Mission

Food Finders has a mission to eliminate hunger and food waste, but did you know that we also have a part 2? “….while improving nutrition in food insecure communities.” It is critically important that people eat nutritious meals. Our bodies need nutrition to get up out of bed, get on the bus to school, and then our brain has to be ready to learn—you need nutritious food to do that!

Kelly has a talent for taking all the ingredients sorted and packed into our Food 4 Bags, and craft some delicious and easy recipes for a family to prepare over the weekend. Keep in mind that she is assuming there are no other ingredients in the house, so anything you add to the mix will boost the nutrition even more! The beautiful part of these recipes below is that you can make nutritious food from simple ingredients when you think outside of the box.

Oatmeal with Fruit Topping

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

  • Oatmeal packet
  • Fruit mix or fruit cup

Instructions:

  1. Cook oatmeal packet as directed and top with 1/3 of drained mix fruit or 1 fruit cup
  2. Enjoy!

Tuna and Black Bean Casserole

Tuna and Black Bean Casserole

Servings 4

Tuna is good for you and is a rich source of lean protein and omega-3 fatty acids. Combined with the black beans that are rich in fiber, potassium, folate and B6 as well as its phytonutrient content and no cholesterol supports heart health.

Ingredients:

  • 3 packages of chicken flavored Maruchan noodles prepared per package instructions leaving one seasoning packet out and drain majority of the fluid.
  • 1 can of tuna, drained
  • 1 can of black beans, drained
  • 1 can of mixed vegetables, drained
  • 1 can of tomato soup

Instructions:

  1. Place cooked noodles, tuna, black beans, tomato soup and can of mixed vegetables in a pot.
  2. Bring to a simmer and cook until heated through.
  3. Eason to taste
  4. Garnish with anything available such as cheese, hot sauce, cilantro, onion and sliced radishes.

Tuna and Tomato Noodle Casserole with Green Beans

Servings 4

Tuna is good for you and is a rich source of lean protein and omega-3 fatty acids.

Ingredients:

  • 3 packages of chicken flavored Maruchan noodles prepared per package instructions draining the majority of the liquid.
  • 1 can of tuna, drained
  • 1 can of green beans, drained
  • 1 can of tomato soup 

Instructions:

  1. Place cooked noodles, tuna, green beans and tomato soup in a pot.
  2. Bring to a simmer and cook until heated through.
  3. Season to taste
  4. Garnish with anything available such as cheese, hot sauce, cilantro, onion and sliced radishes.

Chips and Dip

Servings approximately 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 can of refried beans
  • 1 Chicken seasoning packet
  • 1 bag of potato chips

Instructions:

  1. Place refried beans in a bowl.
  2. Mix in the chicken seasoning packet thoroughly.
  3. Feel free to add cheese if available.
  4. Dip chips and enjoy!

The Food 4 Kids Program is an amazing collaboration of the City of Long Beach and Food Finders. To learn more here

If you would like to volunteer to help us sort and pack Food 4 Kids bags at our warehouse, contact our Volunteer Coordinator, Kevin Burciaga, kburgiaga@foodfinders.org

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Food 4 Kids Program

Making Nutritious Meals: Food 4 Kids Program

Several studies show that nutrition can directly affect the mental capacity of school-aged children. For example, iron deficiency, even in early stages, can negatively impact cognition. Good Nutrition helps students show up at school prepared to learn–and learning is the foundation of how children can grow into healthy and productive adults. Because improvements in nutrition help to make students healthier, they are more likely to have fewer absences and attend class more frequently. When children are not given nutritious meals, studies show that malnutrition leads to behavior problems in the classroom.

Hunger is not just something we must look at as a social issue. It is an economic one. If we know that children can do better in school when fed nutritious food, perhaps we can see the benefit of these same children growing up to lift themselves up and out of poverty to financial independence. Food is more than just hunger, it is a vehicle to elevate entire communities.

Turning A Bag of Food Into A Meal

Contents of one Food 4 Kids Bag

Kelly Alarcon, a Cal State Long Beach Nutrition student who interns at Food Finders loves to talk about the importance of having nutritious meals. She helps the Partner Agency Coordinators to receive food from our Food donors and also helps with pack and sorts for the Food 4 Kids program. The above photo was taken from one bag that was being packed up so that it could be delivered to one of the 15 Title 1 Schools in Long Beach.

Kelly asked if she could take a picture and use her nutrition skills to craft some recipes that could help families extend the meals while also providing a nutritious option. Her studies paid off!

Here is the first bag of recipes we would like to share:

Contents and Nutrition

Tuna 5.4 oz. = 2 packs 140 calories, 17g protein, 0.5g fat, 0 carbs
Instant oatmeal = 2 packs 320 calories; 8 g protein, 4g fat, 66g carbs
Kool Aid Juice Jammer = 1 90 calories, 0 protein, 0 fat, 24 carbs
Canned corn, whole kernel = 2 120 calories; 2g protein, 2g fat, 26g carbs
Black beans = 2 cans 350 calories; 24.5 g protein, 0 fat, 63 carbs
Granola bar = 1 140 Calories; 3g protein, 4 g fat, 25 carbs
Vegetable soup = 1 can 130 calories; 4g protein, 2.5 g fat, 22g carbs
Diced tomatoes = 1 can 88 calories; 3.5 g protein, 0g fat, 17.5 g of carbs
Canned fruit = 2 cans 230 calories; 0g protein, 0g fat, 59g
Boxed mac n cheese = 1 box 875 Calories; 32.5g Fat, 25g protein, 118g carbs

Weekend Meals Recipes

Meal #1: Cheesy Tuna Casserole

Serves 2-3 people

Ingredients To Use:
1- Box mac n cheese
1 – Pack of tuna drained
1 – Can of corn drained

Directions:

  1. Prepare boxed mac n cheese as directed, setting aside ¼ of the noodles for another recipe, and feel free to use any milk, nut milk or water.
  2. Mix all ingredients and serve.

Meal #2: Black Bean, Tomato and Corn Salad

Serves 2-3

Ingredients To Use:
1 – Cans of black beans drained
1 – Can of diced tomatoes drained
1 – Can of corn drained

Directions:

  1. Take all rinsed ingredients and toss in a bowl.
  2. Season as desired
  3. Serve hot or cold

Meal #3: Tuna and Noodle Soup with a Side of Fruit

Serves 1-3

Ingredients to Use:
1 – Cans of vegetable soup
½ Cup of water
1 – Pack of Tuna Drained
1-Can of fruit
Remainder of noodles from boxed Mac n Cheese

Directions:

  1. Place all ingredients in a pot on the stove mixing and heating
  2. Enjoy with side of fruit from the can

Meal # 4: Oatmeal with Fruit

Serves 2-3

Ingredients to Use:

2- Packs of Instant Oatmeal

1-can of fruit drained

Directions:

  1. Prepare instant oatmeal according to package directions
  2. Cut fruit into bite size pieces and top oatmeal with it or eat as a side.

Snack

Juice

Granola Bar

***************************

We look forward to more recipes from Kelly. If you do make any of these, please share your photos of the preparation and completed meal! Email us at mbereket@foodfinders.org

Helping Food 4 Kids

Prior to COVID, the Food 4 Kids Program was delivering 385 bags of food every week to 15 Title 1 Long Beach Elementary Schools. In many cases, these bags of food provided families with their only weekend food option. Support from donors helped us to serve over 10,780 meals per week to families.

Long Beach Unified School District reached out to Food Finders in January with a request to restart the program and add 12 High School Student Wellness Centers to the original Title 1 Schools. Supporting this program would mean that together we can serve 21,560 meals per week by delivering over 770 bags of food to families in Long Beach. It is a good start to elevating so many families!

To Help Support the Food 4 Kids Program click here

If you would like to make an impact on reducing food waste and hunger help us grow our food rescue operations: Donate

#foodfindersinc  #FoodRescue #reducehunger #foodrecovery #Volunteer #Charity #helpfoodinsecurecommunities #HelpEndHunger #EndHunger #fightinghunger #rescuingfood #Donate #makeanimpact

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Community

Girl Scout Troop 2863: Making A Difference

The Girl Scouts Bronze Award

According to the Girl Scouts: When a troop goes for the Bronze Award, they are representing what Girl Scouts can achieve in their communities. And it’s not just earning a patch and its done!

Earning the Girl Scout Bronze Award involves planning, commitment and the time to complete an Impact Journey in their community. They must build a team; explore their community; choose a project that will have a longer term impact; plan what to do; put that plan into motion; and then spread the word about what they are doing!

They will be out in the community talking about their program, progress and the impact of their volunteering long into the future.

Troop 2863 from Long Beach has chosen Food Finder’s Food 4 Kids Program as their Bronze Award project. Prior to COVID, the Food 4 Kids Program was delivering 385 bags of food every week to 15 Title 1 Long Beach Elementary Schools. In many cases, these bags of food provided families with their only weekend food option.

Starting the Food 4 Kids program back up is exciting for Food Finders because the program was halted during COVID. With the Girl Scouts here to help pack the bags of food, and then deliver them to the schools we are able to get the Food 4 Kids bags out of the warehouse and into the hands of families faster. Groups like the Girl Scouts can help us to fill the need for volunteers needed in the early afternoon hours. Many volunteers can only come early in the morning or late in the day but these bags of food need to be delivered just before school lets out on Friday–just in time for school kids heading home for the weekend.

What Is A Title 1 School?

According to the Department of Education a Title 1 School is: a school in which children from low-income families make up at least 40 percent of enrollment and are eligible to use Title I funds to operate schoolwide programs that serve all children in the school in order to raise the achievement of the lowest-achieving students. For the city of Long Beach, Title 1 students are about 85% of enrollment!

Providing meals for the weekend is critical to the learning of children when they return to class on Monday. One of the site directors at Lincoln Elementary told us: “We noticed that bringing this partnership to our site brought our families closer to the program. It created a better school climate where families felt cared for and considered outside their child’s academics. Families’ well-being and needs became attended to and the responses (to picking up the bags) showed great need.”

Hunger Impacts Learning

The consequences of going hungry on a child are long term. We already know that hunger curbs a child’s physical development but did you know that it also inhibits their ability to focus and perform in class? If children cannot learn how can they have any hope of lifting themselves out of poverty?

The Food 4 Kids Program is an opportunity for all of us to give a child a helping hand somewhere in the future. This is the key to the Bronze Award program Troop 2863 is working on right now. If they can pack and sort, and then deliver food to kids in their own community, then those kids have a better chance of learning more in school. If they learn more their opportunities in life are increased. Everyone benefits!

“Great opportunities to help others seldom come, but small ones surround us every day.” (Sally Koch)

As Girl Scouts, these girls in Troop 2863 know that they will earn this Bronze award with courage,
confidence, and character because this work to help kids in food-insecure communities is a small act of kindness that will make a big difference in the world they are growing up into!

#GirlScouts #FoodFindersInc #Food4Kids

If you would like to volunteer at Food Finders please contact Kevin Burciaga kburciaga@foodfinders.org or learn more

If you would like to make an impact on reducing food waste and hunger help us grow our food rescue operations: Donate

#foodfindersinc  #FoodRescue #reducehunger #foodrecovery #Volunteer #Charity #helpfoodinsecurecommunities #HelpEndHunger #EndHunger #fightinghunger #rescuingfood #Donate #makeanimpact

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why-waste-food-wedesday-avocadoFood Waste

#Why Waste Food Wednesday: Avocado Pesto

The Avocado, delicious and finicky! It is hard to know when they are ripe, and then–they are over-ripe. Or are they? Too many avocados are tossed in the trash when they could be repurposed into something else delicious and highly nutritious. While overripe avocados are not great for slicing, they’re actually easier to mash or purée than ripe avocados, which comes in handy if you’re trying to make dips and spreads.

Before I get to the recipe: How do you know when it is still good to eat an avocado that has gone from green to brown? The real trick is your nose. If an avocado smells bad, then do not eat it. Brown does not mean it is not nutritious. An isolated brown spot may be due to bruising, rather than widespread spoilage, and can be cut away. Mold is another sign that you cannot eat an over-ripe avocado. The bottom line is to smell before using.

Avocado Pesto

Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist

  • 1 large bunch fresh basil
  • 2 ripe avocados
  • ½ cup walnuts or hemp seeds
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice 
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Ground pepper to taste

Directions

Instructions Checklist

  • Step 1 Strip basil leaves from the stems and add to a food processor along with avocados, walnuts (or hemp seeds), lemon juice, garlic and salt; pulse until finely chopped. Add oil and process to form a thick paste. Season with pepper.

Tips

Make Ahead Tip: Press a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface to prevent browning and refrigerate for up to 5 days.

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 2-Tbsp.Per Serving: 126 calories; protein 1.1g; carbohydrates 3g; dietary fiber 2g; sugars 0.3g; fat 12.8g; saturated fat 1.7g; vitamin a iu 236.2IU; vitamin c 4.1mg; folate 26.4mcg; calcium 13.9mg; iron 0.4mg; magnesium 14.9mg; potassium 151.2mg; sodium 37.1mg.Exchanges: 

2 1/2 fat

Recipe Source: https://www.eatingwell.com/recipe/251078/avocado-pesto/

If you would like to make an impact on reducing food waste and hunger help us grow our food rescue operations: Donate

#foodfindersinc  #FoodRescue #reducehunger #foodrecovery #Volunteer #Charity #helpfoodinsecurecommunities #HelpEndHunger #EndHunger #fightinghunger #rescuingfood #Donate #makeanimpact #Foodwaste #beafoodfinder #HungerHero #zerofoodwaste #avocado

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never-doubt-your-impactCommunity

Never Doubt Your Impact

There are many ways to make an impact on the world. Unfortunately, with all the messages being thrown at us via TV and social media, we begin to think that what we do as an individual isn’t that important.

At Food Finders, we can absolutely, without any reservations, tell you that one person can make a huge impact when working alongside others who believe in the same mission. For 33 years, this organization has been growing. From one idea, in one garage, with one woman who shared her mission with others. That power of one–with your help–fed thousands of families this month.

Arlene Mercer, founder of Food Finders

Think About the Entire Process Behind Our Mission

Eliminating Food Waste.
First, you must find places where food is being discarded–close to expiration date, or bruised apples for example. Then there must be a place to bring the food. It must be a place that can store or redistribute the food before it really goes bad. Once located, then there must be people in place who can pick up the food and deliver it. And finally, someone must be on the receiving end when that delivery arrives. It is all coordinated and ready to repeat Monday through Friday–week in and week out!

Food Donors: With Food Finders as their partner, Food donors are given an option to have someone come in and take food that would be thrown out, and now can be repurposed through donation elsewhere. By not throwing food away, our landfills are reduced, and then our C02 emissions begin to fall–which will impact us and future generations.

Community Partners: These are local non-profits that can take food donations. Food Finders works to find committed and caring organizations that work every day to eliminate hunger. Food Finders found the food and the means to deliver it. These partners are now reaching out to distribute this food allowing people in food-insecure communities to gather at home and prepare a nutritious meal for their families.

So many pieces are threaded thread together to make our mission a reality. It is not just technology, or vehicles, or reports, or boxes, but people! What makes this all work are people with a shared purpose. Each of us believes that eliminating food waste will change lives.

Our new community partner, Salas & Sons.

The Impact of All of Us

When people eat nutritious food, we all win! They feel better; they learn more and their lives improve because their bodies are nourished. In this process, each of us ensures that this goal, this shared mission, is served from beginning to end. Together we do this—one committed person handing off to another until the circle is closed, and we begin again tomorrow.

Every dollar donated creates 11 meals. One pick-up and delivery can turn into hundreds of meals
Never doubt that your efforts and contributions to Food Finders do not make an impact. They make all the difference to many people in your community every day!

Are you someone who is looking to make a greater impact in your community, then reach out to us at (562) 282-1400.

There are many ways in which you can help to impact the reduction of food waste and hunger:

#1 volunteer your time. It is your time, so why not use it to change your own community? learn more

#2 make a donation that will allow us to rescue more food and repurpose it: Donate

#3 share! Share our posts on Instagram or Facebook, or share this newsletter and page. Just sharing our message with others brings awareness and advocacy that can make a huge impact one day!

If you would like to make an impact on reducing food waste and hunger help us grow our food rescue operations: Donate

#foodfindersinc  #FoodRescue #reducehunger #foodrecovery #Volunteer #Charity #helpfoodinsecurecommunities #HelpEndHunger #EndHunger #fightinghunger #rescuingfood #Donate #makeanimpact #eliminatehunger #eliminatefoodwaste

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banana-why-waste-food-wednesdayFood Waste

Why Waste Food Wednesday: Ripe Bananas

#WhyWasteFoodWednesday

#1 Problem with fruit? The overripe banana. Don’t worry, it can be repurposed by
freezing them.🍌

Here is the process from the National Center For Home Food Preservation

Freezing Banana Preparation


✅Select firm ripe bananas.
✅Peel them
✅mash thoroughly.
✅Add 1/2 teaspoon (1500 mg) ascorbic acid per cup
of mashed banana.
✅Package in moisture-vapor resistant container.
✅Seal and freeze.
🍌🍌🍌🍌🍌

How To Use Frozen Bananas


✅Smoothies, pancakes, cookie dough, bread + Cover in chocolate for a delish snack.

Share any other repurposed recipes and ideas by commenting below.

If you would like to make an impact on reducing food waste and hunger help us grow our food rescue operations: Donate

#foodfindersinc  #FoodRescue #reducehunger #foodrecovery #Volunteer #Charity #helpfoodinsecurecommunities #HelpEndHunger #EndHunger #fightinghunger #rescuingfood #Donate #makeanimpact #whywastefoodwednesday #NationalCenterForHomeFoodPreservation

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Food Waste

Have An Eco-Friendly Super Bowl Party

1.4 Billion Chicken Wings on Sunday

Food is everything for those working to reduce waste and eliminate hunger. When we walk into a grocery store and see a bruised piece of fruit, we become sad thinking that this nourishing treat could end up in a landfill instead of a Food Bank serving food-insecure communities.

But on event days like Super Bowl Sunday? Well, last year over 40 million pounds of food were wasted —just from the stadium. The good news is that much of this stadium waste was rescued and repurposed because of a plan. This year, up to 120 Million people will be watching or attending the big game. That means there will be 1.4 Billion chicken wings sitting alongside an equal amount of chips, salsa, pigs in a blanket, and so much more!

Celebrate But Make It Zero Waste

We want you to have fun, but we also want you to have a plan! Throw your party and be mindful of the waste. Here are Eight Zero Waste Party Tips to enjoy the game and feel good that you are making an impact:

1. Have a Plan for Scraps of Food

If you live in California, you need a plan for food waste. SB-1383 requires you to compost! Have a bucket next to all the delicious foods clearly marked “COMPOST” so that your guests know what to do. Food accounts for a lot of what goes into landfills, so having a place to compost reduces that impact, and it helps to reduce our carbon footprint too! Learn more about SB-1383.

2. Don’t Use Plastic Plates, Cups or Utensils

Sure, we know it’s easier to toss out plates rather than wash them! Minimize cleanup by preparing dish stations with buckets full of soapy water for guests to use to soak dirty dishes. Put a little sign above the wash station: “40 Million Tons of Waste is Generated During the Super Bowl. Prevent waste-wash and rinse a plate.” [Not enough plates? Try Goodwill. You can recycle used containers for very little money.]

3. Use Reusable Bags

When shopping for the party, remember to bring your favorite reusable grocery and produce bags to the store with you to minimize plastic and paper bag usage! And if you forgot, get those plastic bags out and recycle them!

4. Pack It All Up in Reusable Containers

reusable glass containers

You know there are going to be leftovers, so plan ahead. Minimize the use of plastic baggies, plastic wrap, aluminum foil, and other disposable food storage items by packing leftovers in reusable containers. If you usually give leftovers away to guests, ask them to bring their own reusable containers to take food home in.

5. Forget All The Decorations

At the very least, could you keep it simple? You are there to watch the game, so save your money and focus on your team winning! And if you can’t live without a football-shaped table centerpiece, make it reusable. Your great-grandkids will be very grateful you did!

6. Label and Plan Your Trash Cans

Label Your Bins

There are two critical tricks to this part: First, clearly label waste receptacles, and second, put them in places that are easily accessible to guests. If they can’t see them, they won’t use them.

7. Let Everyone Know: Make Announcements

Just before the game starts, and then just before the first half-time commercial, announce the bins, the food scraps, and the reason why you are changing things up this year. Change happens when enough people speak up. Be the voice of change!

8. Repurpose Extra Food After The Game

Your Super Bowl planning probably included extra buns, chips, and produce. If you think it will go to waste, turn sour, or go uneaten–DONATE IT. Better to feed a group of seniors than to add to the landfill heap. Food Finders has a mission to rescue food, reduce hunger, and provide nutritious meals to food-insecure communities. That could be your mission too! Be a Food Rescue Hero

https://www.foodfinders.org/

Resources for Food Donations

For Ram’s Fans: Food Finders

USDA Donations

California Association of Food Banks

Cal Recycle

For Bengals Fans: Last Mile Food Rescue

If you would like to make an impact on reducing food waste and hunger help us grow our food rescue operations: Donate

#foodfindersinc  #FoodRescue #reducehunger #foodrecovery #Volunteer #Charity #helpfoodinsecurecommunities #HelpEndHunger #EndHunger #fightinghunger #rescuingfood #Donate #makeanimpact

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blog-why-waste-food-stale-bagel-recipeFood Waste

Why Waste Food Wednesday: Stale Bagels

How do you solve a problem like a “stale bagel”?

Repurpose it! And, if you do it right, you may just find that some recipes actually taste better when the bread is older. For our first #WhyWasteFoodWedesday recipe we have chosen bagels because in addition to being a totally fun food to repurpose, it also happens to be #BagelDay!

Bagel French Toast Recipe

This weeks recipe comes from All Recipes.

Prep: 5 mins

Cook: 15 mins

Additional: 30 mins

Total: 50 mins

Servings: 4

Yield: 4 servings

Nutritional Per Serving: 219 calories; protein 10.2g; carbohydrates 34.2g; fat 4.1g; cholesterol 95.4mg; sodium 352mg

Ingredients

Original recipe yields 4 servings

½ cup milk
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (Optional)
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon (Optional)
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg (Optional)
4 stale bagels, split
1 tablespoon powdered sugar, or to taste

Bagel French Toast

Instructions Checklist

  • Step 1 Beat milk, eggs, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and nutmeg together in a large, flat container.
  • Step 2 Place bagels, insides-down, into the egg mixture. Let sit for 30 minutes.
  • Step 3 Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add bagel slices and cook, working in batches if needed, until browned on both sides, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve warm.

Recipe Source: https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/280407/bagel-french-toast/

If you have a great repurposed food recipe to share please email mbereket@foodfinders.org

If you would like to make an impact on reducing food waste and hunger help us grow our food rescue operations: Donate

#foodfindersinc  #FoodRescue #reducehunger #foodrecovery #Volunteer #Charity #helpfoodinsecurecommunities #HelpEndHunger #EndHunger #fightinghunger #rescuingfood #Donate #makeanimpact

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