Lakeshore Food Rescue is expected to annually provide more than 400,000 pounds of food rescued from retailers and farmers. Courtesy
Community Action House is using a $50,000 grant from the Michigan Health Endowment Fund to expand its collaboration with Zeeland-based Harvest Stand Ministries on perishable food rescue — the recovery of food that grocers or restaurants would otherwise discard due to overstock or near-term expiration dates.
This initiative will scale up the amount of perishable food available to other pantries and for individuals in need ahead of the opening of Community Action House’s new Food Club & Opportunity Hub, which is set to open this fall.
“This state support from the health fund will increase local access to healthy food while building an efficient scheduling, pickup, and delivery system that allows Community Action House and Harvest Stand Ministries to improve the impact of our efforts. It’s a win-win for both organizations and, most importantly, our community,” says Community Action House Executive Director Scott Rumpsa.
The grant will fund capacity building for both organizations, allowing Community Action House and Harvest Stand Ministries to more deeply integrate their food rescue functions. This combination of efforts will operate locally under the name “Lakeshore Food Rescue.”
The program aims to increase perishable and healthy food options for an estimated 10,000 individuals facing food insecurity in the greater Holland/Zeeland area. Reducing duplication of services, Lakeshore Food Rescue is expected to annually provide more than 400,000 pounds of food rescued from retailers and farmers.
This collaboration will also lead to a faster turnaround time with rescued produce as Lakeshore Food Rescue will assume donations usually taken to Feeding America West Michigan, based in Comstock Park.
The shorter donation transportation times are expected to increase the amount of perishable food available, and Feeding America West Michigan, and longtime partner of both CAH and HSM, is supportive of this endeavor.
“We’re proud to embark on this effort with Community Action House to scale up localized food rescue in our region and create a platform to provide shared services for other local food assistance providers in the future,” says Harvest Stand Ministries Executive Director Jordan Palladino.