Food waste is a serious problem. According to Feeding America, the nationwide network of food banks, approximately 72 billion pounds of perfectly good food from farms, distributors, and retailers is thrown away yearly. That’s food that could be going to families facing hunger.
With one in six Central Texans and one in four children at risk of hunger, the Food Bank is taking action to ensure that edible food ends up at dinner and not in the landfill.
However, this is only possible with support from our community. That includes working with grocers like the recently opened Whole Foods Market 365 Cedar Park. Since the store opened in April, it has been a great partner in the fight against hunger.
“We are very excited to work with Central Texas Food Bank and have them support our community with food donations pick up from our Whole Foods Market 365 Cedar Park location five days each and every week. It has been a wonderful partnership and we are happy to do our part to help feed those in need in Austin and surrounding community areas," Sara Mora, Whole Foods Market 365 Cedar Park Store Team Leader
The Food Bank picks up healthy food from the store five days a week. We have been able to rescue enough food to help provide more than 89,951 meals, with almost half of the donations being comprised of fresh fruits and vegetables to help nourish the nearly 460,000 food-insecure individuals in Central Texas.
We rescue bread, produce, dairy and other food items that might not be suitable to sell due to anything from the packaging being damaged to healthy produce looking eccentric.
Staff at the store inspect food items to ensure food being donated to the Food Bank is still healthy, and then they separate the donation for our driver to pick up. Our partnership with 365 by Whole Foods Market gives families access to nourishing, high-quality food they might not otherwise be able to afford.
Additionally, our Partner Agency, the Leander Brighter Days Food Pantry, picks up food from the store every Saturday, giving the 460 families they serve a month healthier options to choose from.
“The food we pick up at Whole Foods Market 365 Cedar Park has allowed us to help more families get dairy and fresh produce on a weekly basis. This helps our pantry provide food that is healthy and nutritious,” Terri Bettis, Brighter Days Food Pantry Executive Director, said. “We love our partnership with Whole Foods.”
In the last year, the Food Bank distributed more than 45.6 million pounds of food to families in our 21 county service territory. Nearly half of that was food we rescued from retailers, distribution centers, farms and other food donors.
Partnerships with retailers like 365 are essential to helping feed the nearly 46,000 individuals who rely on the Food Bank each week.
Thank you Whole Foods Market 365 Cedar Park for fighting hunger and helping reduce food waste.