MealConnect reduces food waste, feeds hunger | News, Sports, Jobs
People are hungry, but safe and healthy food is wasted.
In order to help reduce these two problems, Second Harvest Food Bank uses MealConnect.
“MealConnect is a free platform developed by Feeding America to help reduce food waste, protect the environment and put more food on the tables of families and individuals facing hunger in America,” according to a statement from Second Harvest Marketing and Media Coordinator Natalie Massing.
Second Harvest is one of the 200 food banks in the Feeding America network.
“MealConnect leverages the network of food banks as well as the 60,000 pantry and food programs partners to create greater efficiency and save more food,” Massing said. “MealConnect allows food businesses of all sizes, from local family restaurants to large grocery chains, to post excess food on the MealConnect platform.”
Once someone tells MealConnect that there is food available, the app goes to work.
“The platform then immediately directs the recovered food to the pantries and meal programs of the Second Harvest Food Bank that serve those in need,” she said. “An algorithm determines the local pantry or food program best suited to collect and distribute the donation quickly. “
“MealConnect is available to donors from any smartphone, tablet or computer, and is free to all users” Massing said. “Any donation made through MealConnect is tax deductible. “
Those interested in obtaining more information or signing up as donors can visit MealConnect.org or contact Second Harvest Rescue Coordinator Celeste Makay at (814) 459-3553 ext. 122 or [email protected]
About 130 retailers and restaurants are already using the system, she said. Adding in donations from local farmers, food drives and individuals, this food provides free meals to people served by Second Harvest and its 414 member agencies, Massing said.
“We at Second Harvest are delighted to enhance our food rescue program which began in 1982,” Second Harvest of Northwest Pennsylvania CEO Karen Seggi said. “MealConnect is an innovative way to strengthen our efforts, reduce food waste and food insecurity. “
“In fiscal 2021, Second Harvest saved nearly five million pounds of food,” Massing said.
It’s a beginning.
“New information from ReFED, a collaboration of business leaders, nonprofits, foundations and governments committed to reducing food waste in the United States, indicates that 72 billion pounds of healthy and healthy are wasted every year in the United States. she said. “MealConnect aims to further close this gap to reduce food waste and end hunger. By connecting more donors to Second Harvest’s network of pantry and meal programs, MealConnect will prevent more food waste, benefit the environment, and help end the food crisis for millions of people in America.