Teton Valley Food Rescue
The Community Resource Center of Teton Valley (CRCTV) has started a food rescue program to reduce food waste and to increase access to fresh produce for Teton Valley locals in need.
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.
- Hole Food Rescue
- Full Circle Education
- University of Idaho Extension’s Community Food Systems Program
- Teton Valley Food Pantry
- Seniors West of the Tetons
- Hispanic Resource Center
- Community Resource Center of Teton Valley
- See n Save
- Broulim’s Supermarket
- 460 Bread
- Big Hole Bagels
- WorldCast Anglers
Rescued and donated food is delivered to several locations, including Seniors West of the Tetons, 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.
Why should I participate?
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 2017, the food rescue program saved over 40,000 pounds of food from the landfill and diverted it to those in need!
Feeding humans first: Food insecurity exists in Teton Valley. In the 2016-17 school year, 38% of elementary and middle school students in Driggs and Tetonia have received free or reduced school lunches. 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, 460 Bread, and Big Hole Bagels in Driggs at various times throughout the day. They then sort and weigh the food and drop it off at that day’s designated organization – Seniors West of the Tetons, the Teton Valley Food Pantry, Hispanic Resource Center, See n Save, or the CRCTV. Time commitments can vary from thirty minutes to two hours, depending on your needs. Please contact Betsy Hawkins at 208-354-0870 or email@example.com to discuss what might work for you. Volunteers must be patient, flexible, and have a good sense of humor, as this program involves a lot of moving parts!
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, the executive director of the CRCTV, for 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!