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NWA Food Bank Partnering with Feeding America for Middle Mile Program to Eliminate Food Waste

Posted by: Northwest Arkansas Food Bank on Monday, June 29, 2020

Guest Blog Post by Northwest Arkansas Food Bank

The Northwest Arkansas Food Bank recently received a  $51,500.00 grant from the Walmart Foundation to develop solutions to efficiently transport unused food from local food donors to partner agencies, such as food pantries and soup kitchens. Each year, 72 billion pounds of perfectly good food goes to waste, yet 40 million Americans face hunger. This tool will help turn that waste into meals for those in need.

Northwest Arkansas Food Bank will leverage MealConnect, Feeding America’s food donation app, to automate the rescue and distribution of unused perishable food items in a sustainable, cost-effective way. Feeding America developed MealConnect to provide donors a convenient, free and safe way to reduce waste and connect surplus food with people who face hunger.

The program will depend on local Food Recovery Volunteers. The volunteers will use their vehicles to pick up items and drop them off at a local pantry or hot meal site from our community partners. The Food Bank will provide the materials to store the food in a food safe manner as well as provide in person training for all volunteers in the program. This model will help increase food recovery in our community and get the food to those in need. To learn more about how to volunteer for this program, contact Austin.harms@nwafoodbank.org.

Walmart and the Walmart Foundation provide donations of both food and funds to the Feeding America nationwide network of 200 food banks.  Locally, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation are valued partners with the NWA Food Bank.   

For more information about the NWA Food Bank, visit www.nwafoodbank.org.

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