July 14, 2020

TCF Center Becomes Distribution Hub for Food Rescue US

Throughout the month of June, the Detroit Chapter of Food Rescue US distributed 270,000 pounds of meat, fresh produce and packaged foods from the TCF Center loading docks to local food redistribution agencies in Southeast Michigan.

According to Food Rescue US an estimated one in seven people are struggling with food insecurity in the United States during the COVID-19 pandemic, causing poor health, emotional stress and mental burden. The agency has coupled this problem with the fact that each year, the United States throws away 40 percent of its food supply, or 68 billion pounds. Its solution is implemented on a national level, in major metropolitan areas across the country. 

Through the use of its proprietary app, Food Rescue US provides the platform for volunteer food rescuers to directly transfer excess food from businesses to local social service agencies that feed the food insecure. By providing food that would otherwise be wasted and delivering it to hungry people. Food Rescue US is keeping this wasted food from ending up in landfills where it decomposes, creating methane gas that warms the planet. 

"We set up the docks to comply with regular commercial, federal and local food safety guidelines," said Claude Molinari, general manager of TCF Center.  "The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) worked with Food Rescue US and provided  oversite throughout the contract period, conducting audits to ensure food safety plans are followed. We made sure all of their needs were met to do so."

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Each Friday, the Detroit chapter of Food Rescue US volunteer network worked alongside of TCF Center employees on the venue's loading docks to collect tons of food from local restaurants, grocers and other food providers.  They then organize the donations for local nonprofit agencies and churches to pick up and redistribute to hungry people in the Southeast Michigan area.

Food Rescue US works closely with The Farmlink Project, a grassroots movement striving to prevent food waste during the COVID-19 pandemic by linking farms that are experiencing extreme surplus due to reduced commercial orders to local agencies that pick the food up from places like the TCF Center. 

USDA Farmers to Families Food Box is another agricultural organization working with Food Rescue US to supply combination boxes of fresh produce, dairy or meat products. The organization is partnering with national, regional and local suppliers, whose workforce has been significantly impacted by the closure of restaurants, hotels and other food service businesses, to purchase up to $3 billion in fresh produce, dairy and meat products during the pandemic.

"We hope to continue the Food Rescue US operation on the docks at least through August," said Molinari. "It is a big part of our Corporate Responsibility Program to provide opportunities to local residents in need, and we are pleased to do it."

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