Leamington, ON (August 30th, 2018) – In an organized effort to reduce their food waste footprint, NatureFresh™ Farms has partnered with Forgotten Harvest, a perishable food rescue and redistribution organization, to deliver nutritious food to people in need. So far in 2018, NatureFresh™ Farms has successfully donated over 150,000 pounds of produce to the Forgotten Harvest program.
The issue of food waste, both at the commercial and consumer level, is beginning to gain more recognition as a serious global problem. Every year, roughly 1.3 billion tons of food gets thrown out globally, and this food ends up in landfills where it is not used and begins to emit greenhouse gases (primarily methane). As food wastage becomes a more recognized problem, consumers and businesses in the food industry are improving their efforts to curb the issue of food waste.
The NatureFresh™ Farms team has made a firm commitment to consistently collecting and donating greenhouse-grown products that cannot be sold at the retail level, but are still nutritious and fully edible, to Forgotten Harvest. The food rescue organization then gleans and repackages the produce into family-friendly sizes that are redistributed within their network of food banks.
Justin Guenther, the Allocation/Shipping Manager at NatureFresh™ Farms, has been a driving force for this program’s development: “The initial creation of this donation program saw some obstacles, as every new program does, but once people started to realize how much food we were saving, it really opened their eyes to the good we could do as a company.” In 2018, NatureFresh™ Farms is projecting that they will reallocate roughly 600,000 pounds of produce to feed food insecure families through Forgotten Harvest’s food bank network.
NatureFresh™ Farms has been donating produce to Forgotten Harvest since 2011, but the food rescue organization has been feeding members of the metro-Detroit area since 1990. With 35 trucks, over 16,000 annual volunteers, and a massive local and international network, Forgotten Harvest is committed to providing food insecure families with fresh, nutritious food as quickly as possible. Chris Ivey, Director of Marketing & Public Relations at Forgotten Harvest, cites the importance of their partnership with NatureFresh™ Farms: “As metro Detroit’s only fresh food rescue, our partnership with NatureFresh™ is a critical portion of our supply chain. Because of these efforts, Forgotten Harvest can deliver on the promise of providing a fresh nutritious mix of food, delivered free of charge, to the over 250 partner agencies we support in our community.”
Forgotten Harvest’s mission to provide people with access to essential foods is a mission that Peter Quiring, the Founder and CEO of NatureFresh™ Farms, also champions: “Working with an organization like Forgotten Harvest, as well as many other community food banks, means that our company can help even more people live healthier lives. To build strong communities, it’s essential to work hand in hand with like-minded organizations.”
In addition to their work with Forgotten Harvest, NatureFresh™ Farms constantly seeks to engage with local food banks and food rescue organizations, including Southwestern Ontario Gleaners.