530 Food Rescue Coalition
Good for people, good for the community, good for the environment.
The Community Action Agency of Butte County, Inc. (CAA) and the Center for Healthy Communities at CSUC have partnered to create the 530 Food Rescue Coalition (530 FRC). The 530 FRC works to promote the reduction of food insecurity while also improving the environment. It accomplishes these goals through facilitating food donation and pick-up connections, redirecting excess food away from landfills, and utilizing non-edible food for animal feed and compost in our Northern California region. The 530 Food Rescue Coalition is a leader in the effort to keep discarded edible food from adding to undesirable greenhouse gas creation. The 530 FRC facilitates the pick-up of excess perishable and prepared food from businesses e.g. restaurants, caterers, bakeries, hospitals, event planners, corporate cafeterias, hotels and the delivery of it to neighborhood food programs.
Food waste is the single largest component of municipal landfills. According to the USDA, 30-40% of food is wasted in the U.S. This waste food winds up in local landfills where it produces 20% of the state's methane gases. Methane gas is 84 times more polluting and harmful than carbon dioxide. Food that is still edible can and should be redirected to agencies and food pantries so it can still be used to nourish others whose economic circumstances leave them in need of food. Food that is no longer edible is now being used in productive ways that don't create more greenhouse gasses in a landfill. These ways include using it for compost, animal feed or using it to create power like Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) using the anaerobic biodigester located in Butte County.
The 530 FRC program will help support Butte County to reach its goals that each county must meet under SB 1383 to reduce organic waste in landfills by 75% and to recover 20% of edible food for human consumption.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) defines food insecurity as a lack of consistent access to enough food for an active, healthy life. It is important to know that though hunger and food insecurity are closely related, they are distinct concepts. Hunger refers to a personal, physical sensation of discomfort, while food insecurity refers to a lack of available financial resources for food at the household level. -Feeding America
Food insecurity is the inability to get culturally appropriate foods that are needed to sustain the individual or family. According to the CAA North State Food Bank, 1 in 4 children experience food insecurity and 1 in 5 families struggle with hunger difficulties. This may look like not enough money for food, inadequate accessibility for food, not the right kinds of food available, or a number of different factors.
Our Solutions – Technology & Community Engagement
The 530 Food Rescue Coalition is deploying a technology powered, community-driven solution to food waste and hunger. We combine technology, last-mile logistics and community engagement to create a new regional food recovery and redistribution network that effectively delivers fresh and highly perishable food directly to those who need it most. Our easy-to-install 530 Food Rescue app can mobilize thousands of volunteers at the touch of a screen. While our innovative last-mile logistics rescues and redistributes fresh food in real-time; reducing traditional donation barriers to food retailers and delivering food directly to where people live, work and learn.
Focusing on the logistical challenges of retail food recovery, 530 FRC addresses both problems through technology-coordinated, community-powered networks. Through the app, volunteer drivers are alerted when surplus food is available to be picked up near them. We focus on rescuing perishable and nonperishable foods, from dairy and bakery items to produce, deli, meats, and prepared items, along with canned and packaged goods.
Technology alone won't solve this problem. But community action has the power to ignite individual, collective and systemic change and create a movement. This model merges technology, civic engagement, and public-private partnerships to introduce a new transport and distribution model that transforms surplus food into a resource and changes the way we approach food access. The process is simple: overage food from restaurants, grocers, corporate cafeterias, schools, and more is collected and delivered directly to nonprofit shelters, missions, pantries, and center where it is used to feed people who are disadvantaged and food insecure. Food is donated and distributed free of charge within or near the same community from which it came. Each individual food rescue is completed with the help of staff drivers and a network of volunteers allowing the 530 FRC to rescue millions of pounds of food annually. All of this is done through our volunteer mobilization app, 530 Food Rescue, which you can download in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.
The 530 FRC is a great way to engage our local student population. Students are excited at the prospect and project of food rescue. This is also an ample opportunity for anyone to be able to volunteer at times that fit their schedule. If someone has a half hour to donate their time, they can pick up a donation and distribute it. Someone who commutes from more populated areas to more rural areas would be able to pick up a donation and deliver it to a food pantry in more rural areas of their community that has less access to food.
Download the 530 Food Rescue app today and become a Food Rescue Hero!