We’ve been participating in a Food Share program. See all that stuff? It cost $25.
A Food Share is a charity that redistributes surplus corporate food to the community for a small donation. The food is basically being thrown out by local grocery stores, it’s old, but it’s still edible. You just have to work fast and eat or preserve it before it spoils. Preserving food is pretty easy, you can freeze it, dry it, or can it. We’ve been doing all three and I’ll show you how in future posts.
This is the second time we’ve made it to the Food Share but we’ve split a few with a friend who doesn’t always have room for a full share. Here’s what we got this time:
- 1 case of bell peppers
- 2.5 cases tomatoes
- 2.5 cases grapes
- 2 bags of bananas
- 5 bags potatoes
- 3 bags onions
- 2 bags green onions
- 4 loafs of bread
- 2 bags bagels
- 2 bags of buns
and we got some miscellaneous items including a package kale blossoms, an eggplant, 3 ears of corn, avocado, veggie tray with dip, and a single-serving raspberry danish.
The half increments were added by our friend who didn’t need his full share but as you can see, whole cases are still a lot of food!
At the Food Share we go to it works like this: you can buy as many shares as you want, first come, first serve. Volunteers who help unload the truck and sort food get to go first. Everyone gets a number and goes through the line in order and they divide up things evenly (everyone takes the same food in the same amounts or has a choice between one thing or one other thing or gets to pick so many assorted bread items from the bread table, etc.). You take everything and if there’s something you don’t want you can leave it at a table at the end and anyone can help themself to that stuff. Then if there’s still food leftover (there always is) everyone gets the chance to go through the line again, only this time they start with the last numbers and go in reverse order. So if you aren’t at the front of the line the first time you won’t get everything, some stuff runs out, but you’ll get more if you stick around. Bulk over variety.
The program we participate in is in Poplar, Wisconsin. There’s one in Duluth but friends that have gone said it was a lot of processed junk food, whereas the one we go to specifically acquires healthy food, mostly fruits and vegetables. The only process stuff I’ve seen has been really minimal, like juice or baby food. We figure even with the gas of driving so far it’s still a great deal. The average wholesale price for a case of tomatoes is about $30, that’s for 25 lbs. We received 50 lbs. so that alone made up the fee and gas and then some. We’ll probably do two shares the next time we make it out.