The COVID-19 pandemic has inspired communities across the city to develop and implement solutions to urgent problems confronting Seattle’s neighbors. One of the most urgent problems is food insecurity. In 2019, Feeding America estimated that over 250,000 people in King County didn’t have enough food to lead healthy lives. Since then, the pandemic has made the problem even worse.
One promising approach to addressing hunger in the community is through food rescue—taking good, nutritious, surplus food and getting it to those experiencing food insecurity. Plus, food rescue has the added benefit of protecting the environment by keeping uneaten food out of landfills, where it creates greenhouse gasses like methane that contribute to climate change.
Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) has announced the award of $50,000 to two organizations dedicated to addressing food insecurity through food rescue innovation. The funds, part of SPU’s Seattle Water and Waste Innovation funding program, will support the awardees’ efforts to innovatively reduce consumable in a meaningful way.
City Fruit, a nonprofit that harvests fruit from public and private urban fruit trees for food banks and meal programs, was awarded $25,000. They will use the funds to support their annual harvest and scale up their operations to increase the amount of fruit they collect and distribute to the community.
For All, a nonprofit that recovers surplus food from grocery stores and distributes it through programs like Meals for Kids and the Free Burrito Project, was also awarded $25,000. For All will use the funds to scale up and stabilize their operations through added volunteer and staff support, as well as review its grocery rescue process to identify barriers to waste reduction.
Both awardees fill unique gaps in Seattle’s food rescue system in Seattle, and SPU looks forward to working closely with them to help guide the future of food rescue in Seattle.