A number of schools and colleges in Wellesley and the Metro-West area will donate an estimated 20,000 meals this year to an organization in Cambridge that takes wholesome, edible surplus and leftover food and passes it on to people in need.
Wellesley’s 3R Working Group - which consists of representatives from the Department of Public Works, the Sustainable Energy Committee, and the Natural Resources Commission - worked with the Environmental Protection Agency/New England and the Cambridge-based non-profit Food For Free to develop a collaborative food rescue initiative. The food service vendors dedicated to its implementation include Whitsons Culinary Group, Rebecca’s Café, Sodexo, Chartwells, and AVI Foodsystems. The initiative delivers on the goals of the EPA’s Food Recovery Challenge Program focusing on local K-12 schools, colleges and universities.
The collaborative food rescue program participants include Wellesley Public Schools, Babson College, Bentley University, Olin College of Engineering and Wellesley College.
Food For Free – a food rescue organization that distributed over 2 million pounds of food last year (www.foodforfree.org) - is repackaging this rescued food into single-serve meals. Recipients may include people living in shelters, in temporary housing such as motels, in housing without full kitchens, and those receiving Meals on Wheels.
As the 3R Working Group recruited local colleges for this program, conversations with MassBay Community College, located in Wellesley, revealed that 52% of the students surveyed there, indicated they were food insecure. Members of the MassBay community are now receiving meals through the network. Photos show a ribbon-cutting ceremony at MassBay to launch the food donation program.