Cultivate Food Rescue is Devoted to Organizing Community Resources to Fight Hunger and Reduce Food Waste!
Check out our full 2021 Annual Report by clicking the link below!
A Letter From
The pandemic of 2020-2021 was a historic time for humanity. Upon the reflection and soul-searching that so many of us have done in the last year, we find ourselves overwhelmed with both pride and humility for all that Cultivate Food Rescue accomplished. When the pandemic hit, we looked at each other and asked, “Where is our food going to come from?”. Until that time, 90% of our supply was prepared food that could go straight into meals. We depended on unused food from university and school cafeterias whose doors were now closed. As celebrations ended, extra meals would no longer come from weddings, sporting events, and other catered dinners. Moreover, if children weren’t attending school, how would they receive the meals we prepared?
Our answer quickly came as calls flooded in for us to take unprepared food from these same (and many new) organizations. It required a pivot to now prepare the food ourselves. Our food rescue operation doubled, collecting over one million pounds! We hired five additional staff members including a food sourcing agent, an additional chef, and three administrative positions.
We changed our backpack delivery logistics to accommodate school staff schedules. Some schools did curb-side pickup for their virtual learners while other staff hand delivered meals to children in their homes. Recognizing the need to reach the food insecure where they live, we launched the Cultivate Cares Food Network. CCFN coordinates with pantries to have our food readily available in the communities that we serve, providing them with valuable perishable items like milk, cheese, proteins and many others. We will continue to grow this endeavor, launching our capital campaign in 2022 with the goal of constructing a community cold storage hub for our network partners.
Dedicated volunteers continued to cultivate our mission, allowing us to increase our backpack meal output. We attracted the attention of 4-H members in the Meat Hunger program, formally partnering with them to acquire meat from 72 livestock animals. Our board of directors served tirelessly, navigating us through these changes. Our staff adjusted to masks, zoom meetings and personal struggles, never wavering from their dedication.
We want to thank each and every partner of Cultivate. In the wake of one of the hardest years ever, among all the despair and division, let us stand tall and relish in the good that we have done. Let it also propel us forward with ambition and excitement for the year ahead. Whether donating, volunteering, or leading, I implore each of you to continue cultivating the good that we do. We renew hope, one meal at a time.
Executive Director & Co-Founder
Co-Founder, Director of Operations
& Executive Chef