Grants Available to Recover More Food to Feed People in Need
Olympia – Thurston County Solid Waste is now accepting proposals from eligible non-profit organizations to increase the recovery of surplus fresh and prepared foods from restaurants, grocery stores, and schools to help feed people in need. Eligible organizations include food pantries, churches, and feeding programs.
In Thurston County, we threw away 26,850 tons of food in 2014, making it the single largest item in our trash. Nationally, from farm to fork, Americans toss about 40 percent of all food produced, while 1 in 6 residents goes hungry. This is a huge waste of financial and environmental resources. With new innovative approaches like this food recovery grant program, much of this waste can be prevented.
These grants are intended to build on the success of a similar program launched in 2013. As part of that effort, Thurston County provided support to the Thurston County Food Bank to acquire a refrigerated truck and to renovate their kitchen. With these new resources, the Food Bank collected more than 26 tons of surplus bulk and fresh prepared foods in 2014. This food was then repacked into 33,000 ready-to-eat meals that were distributed to needy families.
A total of $230,400 is available for equipment purchases or to make facility or vehicle modifications through this grant program. No matching funds from applicants are required. The project is funded by a Coordinated Prevention Grant program from the Washington State Department of Ecology, with a 25 percent match from Thurston County Solid Waste. Grant proposals are due on December 18, 2015.