It started with a minivan full of bagels.
John Williamson and his family picked up the “doughnations” from their local Panera Bread and delivered them to a food bank in 2007.
It inspired Williamson to find a way to rescue even more perishable food from restaurants. A recent study found Americans waste 40% of their food each year. A good portion of that comes in the form of restaurant waste.
Today his organization, Food Rescue Inc. feeds thousands of children and families in need each year.
It wants to do more.
The group recently partnered with a restaurant, City Barbeque in Greenwood, to collect food and helps feed those in need. Food Rescue Inc. invested $169 for a 3x3 deep freezer for the restaurant to preserve its perishable, surplus food; including ribs, corn casserole, mashed potatoes, peach cobbler, mac and cheese and pudding.
Steve Schmidt, manager of the Scripps Digital Services Center in Indianapolis, volunteers with the group and asked for the Scripps Howard Foundation to lend it a helping hand in the form of an employee volunteer grant.
“Food Rescue’s mission is to feed people and save surplus perishable food from being needlessly wasted,” said Schmidt. “Williamson is a Jefferson Awards recipient. He has quickly inspired volunteers from across the state and the country, and in turn helps tens of thousands of families and their children in need.”
Each Sunday, a Food Rescue volunteer picks up enough food from the single restaurant in Greenwood to feed 120 people and delivers it to local caring agency, Circle City Relief, who distributes it to children and families in need who are lined up in the inner city in downtown Indianapolis.
The Scripps Howard Foundation volunteer grant will allow the group to offer a 3x3 freezer to two more City Barbeque restaurants, one in Avon and a future Carmel location, and to maintain an inventory of four freezers that it can offer as part of its presentation to food companies they want to include in the program.
The Food Rescue Inc. grant is just one of the 56 volunteer grants given by the Scripps Howard Foundation in the third quarter of 2012. The foundation awarded more than $55,700 to organizations in communities in which Scripps does business.
Scripps employees can apply for a Volunteer Grant by clicking here to access the online application.
The next deadline to apply for a Volunteer grant is Dec. 31, 2012.