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F.A.R.M. Café Food Recovery Program Expected to Launch in the High Country Later This Spring

By Nathan Ham

After a good show of support at last week’s F.A.R.M. Café Food Recovery Forum, the food recovery program is headed on the right track with a launch date coming this spring.

“We had a diverse group of about 20 individuals representing a variety of organizations and farms in the community,” said Elena Dalton, who is the food recovery coordinator for the new program. “All attendees were interested in working with the F.A.R.M. Café when we officially launch later this spring. I am continuing to seek out food donors and receiving agencies to build our network.”

The program will be designed to help local farmers and growers find a place for food that can be used to produce meals or food that can be stored and used in the future instead of turning into food waste.

One of the ways that the food recovery program is going to make this happen is through the use of a simple smart phone app. The Food Rescue US app will seamlessly connect food donors, volunteer food rescuers and receiving agencies. When a farmer, local gardener or other food provider has food to donate, receiving agencies can coordinate a way to have that food picked up through the use of volunteers that can go pick up the food and deliver it to where it needs to be.

“Over the next several weeks, I will be working with the Food Rescue US site director, Melissa Spiesman, to get the software setup for our community,” Dalton said.

Right now, there are 14 locations in the country that have a Food Rescue US app setup in their community, including three college campuses (Duke, Notre Dame and Ohio State) as well as Washington, D.C., Miami, New Orleans, Cincinnati, Columbus and Columbia, South Carolina. There are three locations set up in Connecticut (Fairfield County, Northwest Connecticut and New Haven), one in Albuquerque, New Mexico and one in Salt Lake City, Utah.

The goal of the Food Rescue US is to end American food insecurity by being able to transfer food that would have been otherwise thrown away and give it to places, such as the F.A.R.M. Café, that have the resources to be able to find a good use for the food.

The F.A.R.M. Café is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit and almost all of the operating costs are funded by donations of those that come in for lunch. The rest of the costs are covered by fundraising campaigns and events as well as local sponsorships from businesses, private contributions and grants.

Fundraisers are always key to any non-profit trying to keep enough money to help their cause. Coming up on Thursday, March 29 is the F.A.R.M. Café’ Fifth Annual Real Good Party at Boone Saloon from 6 p.m. until 10 p.m. Tickets are $25 per person and $15 for students. There will be a cash bar, food, raffles, games and dance music by Soul Benefactor. Tickets can be purchased at the F.A.R.M. Café.