Food Waste Quiz
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Food Waste Quiz

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A nationwide 501(c)(3) nonprofit hunger relief ministry, the Society of St. Andrew bridges the gap between fields and forks, mobilizing tens of thousands of volunteers each year to glean (pick, dig, ...

A nationwide 501(c)(3) nonprofit hunger relief ministry, the Society of St. Andrew bridges the gap between fields and forks, mobilizing tens of thousands of volunteers each year to glean (pick, dig, or gather) fresh fruits and vegetables that are excess or unmarketable, due to cosmetic imperfections. We provide this produce free of charge to feeding agencies in the 48 contiguous states, always in quantities they can use quickly and without waste. In many cases the food we glean and distribute is served within 48 hours after harvest. We improve the quality of nutrition available to our country's poorest residents and we build capacity for thousands of partner agencies across the country. In 2012, we recovered and distributed more than 32 million pounds (96 million servings) of food. This slideshow presents our current work in Tennessee.

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  • The Society of St. Andrew, since 1979, has been providing fresh, nutritious food to people at risk for hunger. We take our name from John’s telling of the story of Jesus feeding the 5,000. As John narrates, Andrew is the disciple who brings the boy with a couple of loaves and a few small fish to Jesus. It’s just a little bit of food that doesn’t seem like much, but through Jesus, a child’s lunch is transformed into an abundance that feeds thousands. We, too, find abundance where others see little, and we use that abundance to feed those who are hungry.
  • Our particular ministry involves fresh fruits and vegetables. We want to improve the quality of nutrition available to our nation’s most vulnerable residents. We work with farmers and growers to acquire fresh produce that they consider unmarketable. This is produce that would go to waste, without our intervention. There are many reasons produce might go to waste. Let’s take a look at some of them. These beans are headed for a landfill. What’s wrong with them?
  • Here are your choices: They are not fresh. Nobody likes green beans. They are the wrong length. They have botulism spores.
  • It’s important to clarify that freshness and safety are very important to us. We never distribute food that would put people at risk. These beans are the wrong length for commercial sale. As crazy as that sounds, our farmer has a contract for 3” to 5” whole green beans. His machinery is calibrated to sort out every bean that doesn’t meet that standard. He is throwing away about 1,000 pounds of beans every 6-10 minutes from the middle of June to the middle of October every year.
  • Here’s a closer look at some of those beans! Without our intervention, these beans are shot into the bed of a dump truck, hauled to a nearby field, and dumped in a hole.
  • Our farmer is in Crossville, Tennessee. That’s the green bean capital of the US. Most of the green beans grown for commercial sale east of the Mississippi River are grown right on the Cumberland Plateau. Some of those unmarketable beans have gone for years to feed livestock nearby, but the volume of waste is far too high for the livestock to consume. We’ve been working with this farmer since Summer 2011, and he is thrilled to have these gorgeous green beans going to feed hungry people.
  • This was our first load of green beans from Crossville, on July 23, 2011. We brought an entire dumptruck of green beans from Crossville to Knoxville, where about 100 volunteers bagged green beans from this pile 60 feet long, 15 feet wide, and 4 feet high. It took them close to six hours on a day when the temperature hovered around 100 degrees, but their efforts yielded 57,936 serving of green beans for hungry people in nine counties surrounding Knoxville. By the way, this was just two hours of throw-aways from the farmer!
  • In the summer of 2012, we received fresh green beans from Crossville almost every day. The farmer will shoot the beans right into the back of a pickup truck, so we had faith communities and civic groups all over Middle and East Tennessee that brought pickup trucks to fill and bring back to bag and distribute in their area. This is First Presbyterian Church Nashville’s Vacation Bible School mission camp, bagging four pickup truckloads of beans in June 2012.
  • In late summer 2012, we began a wonderful partnership with the Tennessee Commission on Aging and Disability to make fresh produce available to Tennessee seniors. These women are served by the Upper Cumberland Area Office on Aging. Behind them is a canopy shading close to 20,000 pounds of beans. Seniors coming to a Second Harvest food giveaway that day were invited to fill a grocery sack with fresh green beans to take home, too.
  • These beautiful strawberries are headed for a landfill. What’s wrong with them?
  • Strawberries are too messy? They have an insect problem? Somebody dropped them? The farm closed for the season?
  • The farm closed for the season. This happens all the time. U-pick farmers close up their operation as the season trickles to an end, when it’s just not worth their while to continue staffing the patch. But there will still be fruit remaining. Without our intervention, it would simply be left to rot.
  • We mobilize volunteers, usually from within the same county, who can go to the field and finish up the harvest. Then we take the produce to a local shelter or soup kitchen, where it can be used or distributed quickly, without waste.
  • These potatoes are headed for a landfill. What’s wrong with them?
  • Are they moldy? Do they have blemishes? Did Bird’s Eye change their packaging? Do people prefer smaller bags?
  • While it is true that we sometimes receive donations of produce simply because the packaging has changed – a new logo for the company or perhaps a shift in the proportion of ingredients for salad mixes – these potatoes came to Society of St. Andrew because they were rejected by the grocery store. They just weren’t pretty enough, so the store felt customers wouldn’t buy them.
  • These potatoes came to us already bagged, and we brought a tractor trailer load – about 42,000 pounds – to Martin, Tennessee for distribution on a remarkably chilly November Saturday in 2010. The woman in the wheelchair was a single mom who came with her three children to help for the morning. She had just had a third cancer surgery and would be receiving potatoes that morning as well. She said it was so important to her to be able to give to others and for her children to see themselves as helping others, too. Our volunteers come from all walks of life, and it’s not unusual to find a homeless person gleaning beside a bank executive. Our grassroots, community sharing model creates a dynamic in which neighbor helps neighbor. It strengthens communities and offers everyone the opportunity to serve.
  • These potatoes are headed for a landfill. What’s wrong with them?
  • Were they delivered to the wrong place? Is the flavor off? Are they last year’s potatoes? Perhaps they are the wrong shape?
  • We get tractor-trailer loads of produce like this donated all the time. In May 2012, a North Carolina farmer called us when a sale contract fell through and he found himself with barns filled with 6.3 million pounds of sweet potatoes that he needed to clear out quickly. Eventually he sold some of them, but in just 3 weeks, the Society of St. Andrew placed 2.7 million pounds of those potatoes (about 65 tractor trailer loads) on the tables of families all over the eastern half of the United States. They were last year’s potatoes, overwintered from 2011, but that is really a normal occurrence. We’d probably call these potatoes the wrong shape, just too big, too small, or too odd for the grocery store.
  • There’s just no way to grow potatoes (or just about anything else) uniformly. These sweet potatoes are considered “B” grade because the shapes and sizes are so varied. Often growers can’t find buyers for these ‘differently shaped’ potatoes, so they give them to the Society of St. Andrew.
  • This corn is headed for a landfill. What’s wrong with it?
  • They were the second and third ears on the stalk. They have a pesticide residue. The ears are wormy. They fell off the truck.
  • These were the second and third ears on each stalk. Many growers have contracts for “premium” corn. This means that they harvest corn by hand, and by contract they are only allowed to sell the best ear from each stalk. They cannot sell the second and third ears, so they leave them on the stalk to rot. We want them to call us instead! What we tell farmers is, “When you hear yourself saying ‘It’s a shame this has to go to waste’, that’s when you call Society of St. Andrew.”
  • When the corn farmer calls us, we send volunteers out to harvest what’s left. In summer 2012, we gleaned more than 50,000 ears of corn from fields in Tennessee.
  • These tomatoes are headed for a landfill. What’s wrong with them?
  • What do you think? Were they not refrigerated? Is it another case of misshapen, not uniformly sized produce? Are they too ripe, or did they just get squished?
  • They are simply too ripe. When you buy produce at a grocery store or farm market, you want to be sure that produce has a few days ‘shelf life’ on it. You expect to have some time, maybe even a week or more, to get around to eating or cooking it. So when tomatoes or any other produce get too close to the end of their shelf life, they are pulled from cases and, all too often, thrown away.
  • But, of course, super-ripe tomatoes don’t have to be thrown away. Society of St. Andrew volunteers pick up these overripe tomatoes at grocery stores and farmers markets and take them right to nearby shelters or soup kitchens, where they can be cooked into tonight’s dinner for the shelter’s clients.
  • Fresh peaches look so tasty! But these are headed for a landfill. What’s wrong with them?
  • By now, you’ve got some ideas. Were they overlooked at harvest? Are they bruised? Were they simply left unsold at the end of the farmers/ market? Or are they too big?
  • These peaches could go to waste for any of those reasons. But these are too big. Because grocery stores want to know that they are getting the same quality of peaches from growers in California or Texas or South Carolina, the USDA has long-established commodity standards for every fruit and vegetable. They are 4-16 page PDF documents, that you can find on the USDA website. They provide standards for shape, for color, for blemishes, and even for size. Grade A peaches have a ¼” allowable size differential. That’s it. Outside that tolerance, you might find them at a farmstand or farmers market, but they won’t be in your grocery store – and that means they are likely to go to waste.
  • The quantity of produce that goes to waste in this country is simply staggering. Jonathan Bloom, author of “American Wasteland”, tells us that the 100 billion pounds of fresh food that goes to waste each year – right here in the US – is enough to fill a professional football stadium from the bottom of the playing field to the top of the stands…EVERY SINGLE DAY.
  • It’s heartbreaking.
  • And there’s an environmental cost to all that produce waste as well. Every ton of fresh produce left to rot in a landfill emits as much greenhouse gases in its decomposition as driving a car for a year.
  • And meanwhile, while all that good, nutritious food is going to waste, as many as 55 million Americans are struggling to put food – any food – on their tables. Somebody ought to do something about it.
  • The Society of St. Andrew bridges the gap between the food that would be wasted and our hungry brothers and sisters. We are the logistics and coordination folks who see that good food goes from farms to forks.
  • We are a nimble, grassroots organization, and we keep our expenses to a minimum by mobilizing more than 30,000 volunteers all across the country to help us each year. It costs the Society of St. Andrew about 2.4 cents per serving to distribute 90+ million servings of nourishing food each year. We derive our support from gifts made by individuals; by faith communities and civic organizations; and by corporations and foundations. In 2011 our audited overhead was just 3.49%. 96.51% of every dollar given to the Society of St. Andrew goes directly to getting healthy food to people who need it.
  • Will you join us in this amazing hunger relief ministry? I invite you to give generously, as you are led and as you are able. Your gift, in any amount, makes a big difference! Just $10.00 per month, over the course of the year, will provide 5,000 servings of food! If you are able to bend and stoop and lift, we’d love to have you join us in fields, gleaning. You can sign up on our ENDhunger.org website. I encourage you to tell others about the Society of St. Andrew and invite them to partner with us as well. Finally, please pray for our ministry and for those in need of the food we provide.
  • Will you join us in this amazing hunger relief ministry? I invite you to give generously, as you are led and as you are able. Your gift, in any amount, makes a big difference! Just $10.00 per month, over the course of the year, will provide 5,000 servings of food! If you are able to bend and stoop and lift, we’d love to have you join us in fields, gleaning. You can sign up on our ENDhunger.org website. I encourage you to tell others about the Society of St. Andrew and invite them to partner with us as well. Finally, please pray for our ministry and for those in need of the food we provide.
  • We’re coming to the end of my presentation, but I couldn’t resist adding just one more slide. In January 2012, through a wonderful partnership with a Florida citrus grove owner, who made citrus trees available to the Society of St. Andrew, and a Florida business that wanted its employees to have a Martin Luther King Day of Service Project, and Bridgestone Americas that wanted to help its ‘Pencil Partner’ school, we brought a truckload of fresh tangerines and tangelos to Nashville. These tangerines and tangelos were on trees in Florida Monday morning, and on Friday afternoon every child at Napier Elementary School – where 99.5% of the children receive free or reduced-price lunch – had a bag of fresh, tree-ripe fruit to take home and share with their families. And if that wasn’t enough of a story already, I will add that there was enough citrus brought to Nashville that every family served by 11 low-income day care centers in the city received a bag of citrus, too.
  • Please feel free to call or email me with any questions. I encourage you to “like” us on Facebook or “friend” us on Twitter to see regular updates about our work in Tennessee and interact with us.
  • Please feel free to call or email me with any questions. I encourage you to “like” us on Facebook or “friend” us on Twitter to see regular updates about our work in Alabama and interact with us.

Food Waste Quiz Food Waste Quiz Presentation Transcript

  • Society of St. Andrew gleaning america’s fields, feeding america’s hungryWe provide fresh, nutritious foodto people at risk for hunger.
  • These beans are headed for a landfill. What’s wrong with them?
  • A. They are not fresh.B. Nobody likes green beans.C. They are the wrong length.D. They have botulism spores.
  • A. They are not fresh.B. Nobody likes green beans.C. They are the wrong length.D. They have botulism spores.
  • These strawberries are headed for a landfill.What’s wrong with them?
  • A. Strawberries are too messy.B. They have an insect problem.C. Somebody dropped them.D. The farm closed for the season.
  • A. Strawberries are too messy.B. They have an insect problem.C. Somebody dropped them.D. The farm closed for the season.
  • These potatoes are headed for a landfill. What’s wrong with them?
  • A. They are moldy.B. They have blemishes.C. Bird’s Eye changed packaging.D. People prefer 5-lb bags.
  • A. They are moldy.B. They have blemishes.C. Bird’s Eye changed packaging.D. People prefer 5-lb bags.
  • These potatoes are headed for a landfill. What’s wrong with them?
  • A. They were delivered to the wrong place.B. The flavor is off.C. They are last year’s potatoes.D. They are the wrong shape.
  • A. They were delivered to the wrong place.B. The flavor is off.C. They are last year’s potatoes.D. They are the wrong shape.
  • This corn is headed for a landfill. What’s wrong with it?
  • A. They were the second and third ears on each stalk.B. They have pesticide residue.C. The ears are wormy.D. They fell off the truck.
  • A. They were the second and third ears on each stalk.B. They have pesticide residue.C. The ears are wormy.D. They fell off the truck.
  • These tomatoes are headed for a landfill. What’s wrong with them?
  • A. They weren’t refrigerated.B. They are misshapen.C. They are too ripe.D. They are squished.
  • A. They weren’t refrigerated.B. They are misshapen.C. They are too ripe.D. They are squished.
  • These peaches are headed for a landfill. What’s wrong with them?
  • A. They were overlooked at harvest.B. They are bruised.C. They didn’t get sold.D. They are too big.
  • A. They were overlooked at harvest.B. They are bruised.C. They didn’t get sold.D. They are too big.
  • Meanwhile,55 million Americansstruggle to put food ontheir tables.
  • In 2012, with the help of 4,209 volunteers the Society of St. Andrew put 4 .12 million servingsof fresh fruits and vegetables on the tables of low-income Tennesseans
  • Making It All Happen Logistics & Coordination Telling our story & inviting others to join us Building relationships with farmers & growers who will contact us when they have excess / unmarketable produce Networking with faith communities & civic organizations to find ready volunteers Organizing & carrying out gleaning ‘events’ and crop drops (supplies, equipment, transportation, plans…) Lining up direct-service hunger relief organizations to receive produce and distribute it to their clients
  • Sources of Support Individuals ChurchesFoundations In-Kind (Produce) Audited 2011 Overhead was Just 3.49%
  • How You Can Help Give generously, as you are led and as you are able. 2.4¢ = 1 serving Join us in fields, gleaning Tell others about the work the Society of St. Andrew is doing right here in Tennessee Pray for our ministry and for those in need of the food we provide $10.00/month x 12 months FEEDS 5,000
  • Society of St. Andrew Lynette Johnson, Regional Director sosaTN@endhunger.org 615-878-6134 Facebook & Twitter: SoSATN ENDhunger.org