Inter-Faith Food Shuttle

This past Sunday, I went to an annual fund raiser for the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle with my long time friend Jill Staton Bullard, who co-founded the Food Shuttle in 1989.  The idea was born one day when Jill and her good friend Maxine Solomon were at a local McDonald’s and saw the staff throwing out food that was not used.  Thinking this was not acceptable, Jill and Maxine decided to start a non-profit business shuttling food that was to be thrown away to groups who could use the food and give it to the hungry among us.

                                                                                    

 In 1989, they distributed 750 pounds of food from just 3 food donors.  In 2009, they distributed 6.2 million pounds of food from over 200 food donors, and it is anticipated that this year, they will distribute 6.7 pounds of food from over 220 food donors. 

 

  The Food Shuttle now distributes food to 7 counties, those being Wake, Durham, Edgecombe, Chatham, Orange, Nash and Johnston.  They do this with 14 refrigerated trucks and over 36,000 volunteer man or woman hours.

 

   Clearly, the Food Shuttle has proved to be a successful idea and venture.  But this note is not just about what they have done.  It is about the present and what still needs to be accomplished. 

 

    In the 7 county region in which the Food Shuttle works each day, there are more than 53,000 children that live in poverty.  In the United States, according to statistics from the United States Department of Agriculture, 1/5 of all food in this country goes to waste each year.  Approximately 130 pounds of food per person ends up in a landfill, and incredibly the value of lost food is over $31 billion.  But the saddest part is that with this food, approximately 49 million people could have been fed.

 

      The Food Shuttle now has a program called “Back Pack Buddies” that provides food to deserving children for the weekend during the school year at the approximate cost of $350 per child.

 

      And…the Food Shuttle has started community gardens to help and assist people to grow food that can be distributed to those who need it.

 

       It was an amazing experience to see so many people who contribute so much to help those who are hungry.  You can see them yourself and learn more about Jill and the terrific work she and others do by visiting their website at www.foodshuttle.org.

 

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