Food Rescue Program
What is “food rescue?”
Food rescue describes the process of intercepting edible food that would otherwise be thrown away and distributing it to people in need. This food is often fresh produce with blemishes, food that is soon-to-expire, prepared foods, and excess stock from over-ordering or seasonal closures. Our volunteers pick up the food at rescue spots, sort it, weigh it, and drop it off at local social service organizations.
Why rescue food?
Preventing waste: Food rescue programs have developed across the United States and have successfully diverted millions of pounds of food from going to the dump. Food makes up about 20% of landfill weight; its delivery to the landfill costs taxpayer dollars and its breakdown releases methane into the environment. In 2019, the food rescue program will surpass 100,000 pounds (50tons) of food from the landfill and diverted it to those in need!
Feeding humans first: Food insecurity exists in Teton Valley. In the 2017-18 school year, over 38% of Teton School District 401 students received free or reduced school lunches, with qualifying rates as high as 49% at Driggs Elementary. In 2017, the Teton Valley Food Pantry served 949 families, totaling 2,862 individual distributions. The United Way of Idaho Falls and Bonneville County identified that in 2016, 40% of Teton County, ID working households were living below the necessary income required to satisfy the minimal cost of the five basic household necessities – housing, child care, food, transportation, and health care (this is known as the ALICE threshold, which describes households that are Asset Limited, Income Constrained, and Employed). Many Teton Valley businesses already donate their excess food to local farmers, but there is an identified need for more food to go to local families. And don’t worry too much—our food rescue program donates its leftovers to farmers to make sure our future meat and dairy are well-fed too.
Interested in volunteering?
We can always use more volunteers! Volunteering for the CRCTV food rescue program is a dynamic, fun experience – we promise. Currently, volunteers rescue food at Broulim’s Supermarket and 460 Bread twice daily. Then they sort and weigh the food and drop it off at that day’s designated organization. Time commitments can vary from thirty minutes to two hours, depending on your needs. Please complete the information request below and we will be in touch to discuss what might work for you.
Rescued and donated food is delivered to several locations, including Seniors West of the Tetons, Afterschool Program at Driggs Elementary, Victor Elementary, See N Save, and the Community Resource Center. Please call (208) 354-0870 if you need assistance with where or when to pick up food.
Also, check out the Teton Valley Food Pantry‘s website to become connected to their services.
- Broulim’s Supermarket
- 460 Bread
- Big Hole Bagels
- WorldCast Anglers
- Seniors West of the Tetons
- ABC Afterschool Program
- Victor Elementary
- Teton Valley Food Pantry
- Seniors West of the Tetons
- Hispanic Resource Center
- Community Resource Center of Teton Valley
- See n Save
- Hole Food Rescue
- Full Circle Education
- University of Idaho Extension’s Community Food Systems Program
Interested in donating?
Tax incentives for donors: There are greater tax incentives associated with donating food to the CRCTV, a registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization, compared to the tax credit an organization may currently be receiving from inventorying their product as “spoilage or loss.” To learn more about this IRC 170(e)3 provision, visit the IRS’s Publication 526 and view their Food Inventory section for proof of how donating food through this program could save your business more money.
Is there liability in donating? The Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act, a federal law passed in 1996, protects the CRCTV, our food donors, and our food recipients in case someone were to get sick and try to press charges against any of the participating parties. The law states that an individual or company “shall not be subject to civil or criminal liability arising from the nature, age, packaging, or condition of apparently wholesome food or an apparently fit grocery product donate[d] in good faith to a nonprofit organization for ultimate distribution to needy individuals” except in cases of “gross negligence or intentional misconduct.” The Bill Emerson Act hasn’t been tested in court yet, which means there isn’t relevant case law in any state. In the history of food rescue and reclamation programs, there has never been an attempted lawsuit. It is a broadly written federal bill and offers strong protection for good faith donors.
In essence, this food rescue program will feed more people while saving your business money and reducing the amount of food that goes to the landfill. Please feel free to contact Betsy Hawkins with questions or concerns at 208-354-0870 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you so much for your interest in donating and creating a healthier Teton Valley!
Thanks to our generous community partners for opening their doors and making food rescue a reality in Teton Valley!
By making a tax-deductible donation to the Community Resource Center, you are helping to improve lives by connecting those in need with a network of resources.