RESOURCE CENTER
Over 30 years of non-profit recycling and reuse
food recovery program Perishable Food Recovery Program

The Resource Center's Perishable Food Recovery Program seeks to reduce the amount of edible food that is wasted in the Chicago area by directing it to local food programs. With the cooperation of grocery stores and restaurants, we collect food that they no longer wish to sell for various reasons; a recent expiration date, surplus stock, or damaged produce. Typical donations include slightly dented canned goods, lightly bruised fruit, and day old bread. We pick up donations from stores and deliver the food to homeless shelters and soup kitchens in the same neighborhood. These recipients typically lack fresh produce although they have an ample supply of canned goods. The contribution of fresh food is always welcome addition to their kitchens.

What is unique to our Perishable Food Recovery Program compared to other food recovery programs in Chicago is that we are able to handle food that cannot be stored for a few days. We deliver food to the recipients immediately after the pick-up as opposed to gathering all the food, repackaging it, and distributing it a few days later. For example, we collect day old bread from Whole Foods. We take it immediately to Marquard Center located a couple miles away, where they serve the bread that day.

Another unique feature is that we target small businesses who may not participate in larger food recovery programs because they dispose of small quantities of food. We will collect from establishments that may only have one box of food per week. Since we pick up from several stores even a donation of one box per store adds up to a significant contribution to the food supply of a kitchen.

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