Each Monday morning, our Leadership Team gets together for a quick meeting to update each other about things that are happening in each department. Our Monday Minutes posts share updates from our Agency Relations, Operations, Development, and Programs departments. Today is an update from our Development team.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 20% of what goes into municipal landfills is food. In 2012, this equated to 35 million tons. 50-60% of this food waste comes from businesses.

Care and Share intercepts this perfectly good food by partnering with local grocers, retailers, and restaurants. Last month alone, we rescued nearly 17,000 pounds of food that would otherwise have gone to waste.

We currently rescue food from many area Pizza Huts, Chipotles, Olive Gardens, Loaf N Jugs, Red Lobsters, and a Starbucks. Because some of this food needs to be served or frozen quickly, we work with partner agencies (such as Salvation Army) near these donors to recover food two or three times a week and take it directly to their facility.

We recently formed relationships with Outback Steakhouse and will begin collection at two of their locations. Bloomin’ Brands, which is the parent company of Outback, is testing this food rescue program with the Outback Steakhouse locations across the country. If it successful, they may roll it out to their other brands.

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