Boulder Bike Food Rescue 1

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Boulder Food Rescue is reshaping the face of hunger in our community, one pedal at a time. Did you know that one in six people in the United States is food insecure? This means they may not know where their next meal is coming from, or they may not have access to the right nutrition in their diet. According to Feed America, 48.1 million Americans lived in food-insecure households last year. This is not only a national issue, but a local one as well. Boulder Food Rescue works with the local city council to research food waste in the community and collaboratively designs strategies and tactics to address the issue.

It’s on a mission to create a more just and less wasteful food system. In a nutshell, it facilitates the sustainable redistribution of food “waste” to agencies that feed hungry, homeless and low-income populations while educating communities about food justice. To date, it’s saved more than 1 million pounds of produce from ending up in landfills and has redirected it to feed the hungry–an incredible feat for a non-profit that’s recently hit its fourth year in business.

The group identified foods that would otherwise be thrown away, but which can be diverted from the landfill. These identified foods include produce that may be damaged or blemished, and prepared food such as steamer trays of catered leftovers or day-old baked goods. This sort of very-soon-to-expire edibles cannot be rescued by larger food banks that use warehouses. The Boulder Food Rescue volunteers pick up the food and then immediately transport it around town, typically within 30 minutes. About half of the food is brought to food pantries, while the other half is taken to Boulder Housing Partners’ residents as part of the Grocery Program. Food is typically consumed within 24-48 hours of delivery. To keep the system sustainable, all of the food is hauled via bicycle except in cases of extreme weather or extremely large food rescue events.

Executive Director Hana Dansky says, “We transport about 1000 pounds of produce per day. We’re currently 87 percent bike powered.”

You can watch the statistics of how much food has been redistributed on its website’s real-time data page. Because of the Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act, donors are protected from liability except in cases of “gross negligence or intentional misconduct,” which allows Boulder Food Rescue to operate in a very direct and efficient manner. Thus filling the gap on food waste and filling the mouths of hungry people in need.

PO Box 284