Community Plates Launches in New Haven: Sign Up to Rescue Food

Stephanie Webster

You’ve heard us talk about Community Plates before. In fact, CTbites readers make up almost 80% of Community Plates’ volunteer driven work force delivering rescued food to those in need in Fairfield County. Well now we need to reach out to our New Haven readership to do the same. Community Plates has recently announced their New Haven launch and they need your help. 

Community Plates is a non-profit organization that connects food to people in need of it, by rescuing good food that would otherwise be thrown away and delivering it to hunger relief agencies. Community Plates has lined up food donors in New Haven and is adding more every day, but they need your help to complete the direct transfer of the food to those who need it. They are hoping to sign up 100 food runners by the end of May 2013. Be a part of the solution and sign up here. 

To be involved with the Community Plates initiative, volunteers are asked to commit to just one food run or bin collection a month (15 – 20 minute effort). It’s simple. Just pick up a few bins at your local restaurant or grocery store and drive them to a receiving agency, such as a food pantry or soup kitchen. 

When asked why New Haven was chosen as the new site, in light of the many inquiries Community Plates has had from locations across the country, Executive Director Kevin Mullins replied,

“We selected New Haven as our next launch site due to the high incidence of food insecurity and proximity to our headquarters in Fairfield County, but those were not the only reasons.  We are about communities helping their own communities, and New Haven has a rich tradition in grass roots organizations which is critical in this first phase as we sign up volunteer food runners, food donors and receiving agencies.  We just knew this was the right place.” 

How does it work? Food runners drop off food that can be served to local food insecure individuals the same day – if not within just a few hours. They have many food rescue opportunities that they want to add to their schedule but Community Plates needs runners in order to add new donors and feed more people. 

Direct-transfer food rescue powered by technology isn’t business as usual in the food rescue arena. The direct-transfer part of the equation means that overhead stays low by eliminating warehouses, trucks and employees and most importantly that more fresh food gets to where it’s needed in time to actually make into a meal.  Most importantly direct-transfer means that more and more people (by the hundreds now and soon by the thousands) are connected in a real way to their communities; spending time with food-donors, those who receive and distribute the food and sometimes even those who will be eating the food.

The organization’s proprietary, groundbreaking technology, the GoRescue App, has allowed them to rescue over one million meals in under two years, all of it directly transferred by over 300 volunteer drivers nationwide, for immediate use, to over 40 receiving agencies. 

Food run participation can fit into each volunteer’s schedule, for example:

- “Own” a run every day or once a week. Sign Up Here. 

-  Have spare time one afternoon?  Check the Community Plates website or mobile app to see if there’s an open run at the time

It takes less than an hour to bring food to somebody who desperately needs it. SIGN UP FOR A FOOD RUN NOW. 

If you are a restaurant, caterer, or food store, and would like to find out how to DONATE food to Community Plates, READ THIS. 

About Community Plates

Founded in January 2011, Community Plates is committed to ending American food-insecurity through direct-transfer food rescue. Established as a 501(c)3 non-profit food-rescue platform, Community Plates is focused on transferring healthy, usable foods to where it can help feed those in need. This volunteer-driven, technology fueled process coordinates with restaurants, grocers, bakeries, caterers and other food-service organizations who have foods destined to be thrown away and delivers the food to soup-kitchens, food-pantries and other hunger relief organizations who serve food-insecure individuals and families.

New Haven, CT marks the opening of the fourth location, nationwide, for the innovative hunger relief group and they expect to begin rescuing food by month’s end.  Albuquerque, NM, Columbus, OH and Fairfield, CT are already community based sites in the fight against food insecurity in the United States where Community Plates is leading the charge.