Hamilton County-based Food Rescue celebrated 10 years of securing unused food from school cafeterias and serving families in need Sept. 20. The organization serves all public schools in Hamilton County and more than 500 schools nationwide.
“We looked back on our history,” Lead Program Director Jennifer Carmack-Brilliant said. “We started out as an organization that rescued food from restaurants, and in 2014 we turned our intentions to the astronomical waste happening in school cafeterias. We focused on grades K through 12. We partner schools with carrying agencies to food pantries to rescue unopened, unwanted items from student trays.”
“We have a very strong presence in Hamilton County, and in some of our schools, Westfield Washington in particular and Zionsville schools as well, our life skills students are using food rescue as a unique application of the life skills program,” Carmack-Brilliant said. “These are kids who normally aren’t thought of being able to volunteer or help when in fact they’re very able, and through Food Rescue they are finding empowerment as well as being able to work on occupational therapy, fine motor skills, grip motor skills and social interactions.”
Carmack-Brilliant said the Food Rescue will focus on expanding and evolving for its future and utilizing a $25,000 grant it received.
“(The grant) will be used to expand our presence with videos, and the exciting thing is we will soon be offering start-up kits to all schools and everything they need with an elementary-focused program to help get schools started and engaged,” she said. “Not only do we collect the food, we have kids count and sort it, and there’s an educational component along with it. Students are learning food is not waste, and students are becoming leaders in the food waste arena and becoming empowered to tackle insurmountable issues such as hunger and food waste and seeing firsthand they can really change the world.”
For more, visit foodrescue.net.