3 ways a recent upgrade to the IFFS truck fleet is helping feed those in need with healthy food: (Upgrades funded by a Walmart/Feeding America grant)
Featuring a letter from Jill, unique solutions to summer hunger, CJTP & Teaching Farm celebrations, special corporate food donation, & volunteer spotlight
A special occasion from corporate partners Catering Works and SAS presented a unique opportunity for IFFS to rescue even more food from the dump.
Our 2014 Growing Report infographic illustrates the true difference made by our volunteers, donors, staff, and partners in the fight against hunger.
IFFS volunteer Kelley guest blogs about her experience on a field gleaning trip to harvest surplus muscadine grapes in Zebulon, N.C.
The Inter-Faith Food Shuttle made a celebratory visit to the North Hills branch in Raleigh recently, showing off its newest vehicle, which First Citizens donated to the organization. Inter-Faith Food Shuttle (IFFS) is a hunger-relief organization serving seven counties in and around the Triangle of North Carolina. FCB has had a long-time relationship with the organization. The Food Shuttle’s previous food transportation vehicle was in need of much repair, so First Citizens decided to donate a brand new vehicle, which will assist the agency with its mission to feed the hungry.
On this recent Tuesday, the organization’s newest vehicle zipped across downtown and Midtown Raleigh, rescuing food that would have gone to waste from restaurants and other places like Trader Joes. With refrigerated storage in the back, the new vehicle then transported this food to local nonprofit organizations, making sure it got there in time to serve people in need.
At North Hills, First Citizens associates, along with Food Shuttle staff members and volunteers, got an up-close look at the vehicle. The side panels feature the IFFS logo that includes a large apple. On the back panel, the truck prominently displays First Citizens’ Forever First® commitment to the community. It reads, “For our community. For better lives. Forever First. First Citizens is proud to support Inter-Faith Food Shuttle.” The Bank’s Brand Marketing team coordinated the design of the Forever First message.
Chris Young, Triangle area executive, said the Bank is glad to do its part to help an organization by donating this vehicle.
“First Citizens is a long-time supporter of Inter-Faith Food Shuttle and we are pleased that this vehicle is not only helping to build a healthier community but also reflects our Forever First values to the community,” said Chris Young, Triangle Area Executive for First Citizens. “We wanted to ensure our assistance did more than make a one-time impact, so we’re glad that the new shuttle will make a difference for people in the Triangle for many years to come.”
Bob Shertz, a member of Inter-Faith Food Shuttle’s Board Emeritus, thanked First Citizens for its partnership with the organization. He said that in the vehicle’s first year of operation, the new shuttle will recover about 700,000 pounds of food. That’s about $1 million worth of wholesome, good food that would have ended up in a landfill, he calculated.
“We love it when our trucks leave in the morning and return empty,” Shertz said.
For more information on IFFS programs to end hunger, visit www.FoodShuttle.org.
September is Hunger Action Month, and we’re featuring some of our wonderful volunteers who help us in the fight to SQUASH HUNGER every day. Some have even been at it for decades!
After retiring from his field representative position at Equifax, Warren was recruited by a friend who had to be out for surgery and needed a substitute driver on an IFFS food recovery truck. That was October 1992, and Warren has been picking up and delivering food every week since then. Now well into his 80’s and never married, he says,
“You could say Inter-Faith Food Shuttle has been like a family to me.”
He served as a long-time driver, and now acts as a driver’s assistant on the same route he’s covered for so many years (he won’t let his age stop him from continuing to serve and make a difference!) Every Tuesday and Thursday he works the Glenwood Ave. route – going to Harris Teeter, Super Target, BJs, Earth Fare, Golden Corral, Dominoes, and other places, picking up good food that would otherwise go to waste. He then drops off the food at our partner agencies, including the Healing Place for Men. On Fridays, he picks up eggs in Red Oak at the Carolina Egg Company.
Things have really changed since he started here…at first he says, "they were in a basement headquarters on W Johnson Street and had a pick-up truck with a wooden body and a small truck and what was once a sandwich truck." Now IFFS is located in the Vernon Malone Center at 1001 Blair Drive, and runs a fleet of 13 refrigerated trucks across 7 counties!
Why has Warren stuck with the Food Shuttle for so long? He likes that he is "rescuing food that would otherwise be thrown away – using food and getting it to folks that really need it.” He also likes that he gets to meet interesting volunteers of all ages with lots of interesting backgrounds, hobbies, and skills --from chiropractors and lawyers, to engineers and teachers, to those needing second chances.
A WWII veteran, Warren served as a yeoman and spent his first Christmas away at Guantanamo Bay. Since his military service, he’s become a dedicated volunteer at other places in addition to IFFS – serving for 15 years with the American Red Cross, volunteering on Mondays and Wednesdays at Garner Area Ministries, and with the American Legion post 232.
We're proud to call Mr. Warren one of our own, and thankful for his decades of service to ending hunger in our community!
Want to volunteer as a driver or drivers assistant like Warren and help us squash hunger? Sign up here!
September is Hunger Action Month. Learn how volunteers help us SQUASH HUNGER every day. Volunteers Bob and Michelle show how they glean produce that otherwise would have rotted in the field and get it into the hands of our neighbors in need.
We're always looking for groups and individuals to help us glean local farmers fields. The idea is simple. Farmers call us when they have extra crops. We bring a farmer-trained volunteer crew, gather the produce, and distribute it to people in need in our seven-county area. Anyone can volunteer at a Field Gleaning. It's a wonderful way to connect, and you can easily make a big difference for our less fortunate neighbors.
AND, we need volunteers to drive trucks to and from gleanings, and on our daily food rescue and food distribution routes!
Sign up to volunteer today, and help us SQUASH HUNGER!
Reflections from a summer spent gleaning, from our pun-loving Field Gleaning Intern Michelle Madeley This summer, I interned with the Field Gleaning Program at the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle. I helped out as a field supervisor once a week and spent additional time developing training materials. As a graduate student interested in access to healthy foods, working with the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle was an incredible experience in learning about non-profit solutions to systemic societal issues like hunger in the U.S.
Gleaning addresses the twin problems of food insecurity and food waste by working with local farmers who have additional crops (due to extra planting, experimentation, crops being ready too early, or crops not looking "market-ready" but still being nutritious and delicious). IFFS brings crews of volunteers out to the fields that farmers donate and we harvest various crops, always working to fill the truck to the brim!
In one instance, the farmer even drove up on a tractor, disc attached, just as we were wrapping up. He asked if we got all that we needed, and I told him that we were indeed done and thankful for all that he contributed! He said, "Great. I'm going to disc up that field now." By the time we were all packed up, he was already getting started tilling in the onion field from which we had just harvested hundreds of pounds of quality onions. So, it was quite a literal example of gleaning healthy, viable food, that would have otherwise gone to waste (or into the soil) if we had not been there!
Beyond the sheer volume of fresh, healthy food we helped redistribute, I was most excited about the community I felt a part of. The people I met and worked with made the experience of interning with the Food Shuttle so rewarding. I will definitely take these memories and lessons with me, and come back to volunteer with the Food Shuttle as often as possible.
Some of the highlights:
Befriending volunteers.It was especially cool to get to know new people from all age groups. I got to work with groups of middle school volunteers from mission groups, families with kids of all ages, retirees, as well as peers. I feel lucky to have met so many great people!
The big laughs and friendly conversations. I'm way into laughing, and every Tuesday that I was out in the field, there were a lot of serious and silly conversations that generated belly laughs resonating across the rows of collard greens or squash plants.
The team spirit. Every Tuesday, I helped facilitate a gleaning in a new field, with a different crop, and a totally new group of people. We always had the same set of tools, but with the different variables, we approached the fields differently each week. Sometimes, people would pair up and discover more efficient harvesting and loading techniques. Sometimes, people would volunteer to rotate loading and harvesting. People helped remind each other about which row they had been harvesting corn from, or offered to carry heavy buckets. There was always a real sense of teamwork and with that comes new and creative problem-solving.
And even the inevitable challenges. I found myself saying, "Every week there is an adventure" because it was true! We got stuck in the mud! We couldn't figure out how to fill the truck with diesel! We couldn't find the field! We didn't bring the right equipment! We found ourselves in fields that had been flooded and found every step we would sink into mud! As I think about these obstacles, I consider them all reminders about flexibility and adaptability. In the end, none of these challenges stopped us or even really slowed us down. We asked for help or we made do with what we had. It's a great testament to the spirit of volunteers and a can-do attitude. Thanks for everything Michelle! We’re excited to see where your journey will take you next. Come back any time!