2020 was a year of growth at Cultivate Food Rescue. As challenging as the world is that we live in today, we have continually been able to provide food and hope to the most vulnerable in our community. As schools settle back into a new year, we will soon begin to distribute 1,000 backpacks or 6,000 meals to local school children. The addition of Bremen and Jimtown Schools will give us the opportunity to reach this goal.

Our volunteers stepped up this past year and we hope to continue to grow our volunteer base and see them donate over 8,000 total hours this year! We are looking to connect with new food donors in the region as we partner with pantries to fill shelves and feed hungry families. We hope to connect with new corporate backpack sponsors and individuals who are committed to our mission and want to support us financially. Thank you for making 2020 a pivotal year at Cultivate Food Rescue.

Meatloaf, Anyone?

January Volunteer Spotlight

This month we are recognizing two outstanding individuals who have made volunteering at Cultivate Food Rescue an integral part of their life. They both volunteer 3 or 4 days a week, often working 4-6 hours each day!

Charlotte Flora:
Charlotte started volunteering with Cultivate in September of 2019. Since then, she has accumulated nearly 1,500 volunteer hours in the Cultivate kitchen.  A retired grandmother of 7, Charlotte has many talents. She has worked closely with her grandkids on their many 4-H projects, teaching them cross stitch, needlepoint, flower arranging, and sewing. Something extremely unique about Charlotte is that she has been a passenger on Airforce One 5 times! She also has ridden inside the Goodyear blimp!

When asked what she loves most about spending so many hours in Cultivate’s kitchen, she said that it is the wonderful food and friendships! Plus, she gets to use the “Buffalo Chop” an industrial-sized chopper for vegetables. But overall, what keeps her coming back to chop, stir and sift is the people she gets to spend time with here at Cultivate.

Kevin McIntyre:
Kevin joined the Cultivate crew in January of 2020 and since then has racked up around 900 volunteer hours. After retiring from an industrial business in Bremen, Kevin was looking to spend time volunteering for an organization that had a mission he believed in and he has always enjoyed cooking at home. When Kevin isn’t cooking with us, he enjoys caring for his paint mare, Katie. She is 26 years old and has been with Kevin for the last 20 years, traveling the US and even participating in an actual Montana cattle drive! Kevin also loves tooling around Indiana on his Honda Goldwing motorcycle.

When asked about what he likes best about Cultivate, Kevin said it is supporting the mission of food rescue and feeding hungry kids. When we need huge batches of oatmeal or sloppy joe whipped up, you can find Kevin using the huge stirring paddle in one of Cultivate’s giant tilt skillets, meant for cooking over one hundred pounds of food at a time.

Coincidentally, when asked to pick just one favorite food, both Charlotte and Kevin stated that meatloaf was their favorite! Great volunteers have similar tastes it seems! To join Charlotte and Kevin in the Cultivate kitchen as a volunteer, please contact Cultivate’s very own Volunteer Coordinator, Shelly Alwine at shellya@cultivateculinary.com. Utilizing your talents to benefit hungry kids can be a rewarding experience! Just ask Charlotte and Kevin!

1 Million Pounds

With the support of our food rescue partners, Cultivate has reached over 1 million pounds of food rescued since our inception in summer 2017! Consistent food donors like the University of Notre Dame, Century Center, Whole Foods, Canteen, Milford Food Bank, South Bend Community Schools, and many more make it possible for us to provide nutritious meals for children and families in our community. This is a huge milestone in our organization, and as we continue to see increased food donations, it is the support of volunteers and financial supporters that allows us to distribute these meals out to those who need them the most. We can’t fulfill our mission to reduce food insecurity and increase sustainability without you! For more information check out the articles below:

WSBT Cultivate Story
Elkhart Truth Cultivate Story
WNDU Cultivate Story
South Bend Tribune Cultivate Story

Cultivate’s Backpack Program is Growing in 2021

In January, not one, but TWO school systems will be added to the list of Cultivate backpack program participants. Cultivate Food Rescue welcomes the Bremen Lions and the Jimtown Jimmies. The Cultivate refrigerated box truck will be making weekly stops at Bremen High School, in Marshall county and Jimtown Elementary in Elkhart county starting in the new year. Cultivate staff will be collaborating with their administrators and support personnel to provide hundreds of nutritious meals to those most in need in their prospective communities.