Food Runners

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

A Very Good Year

2011 proved another year of growth for Food Runners. Between environmental concerns and financial havoc, awareness of hunger and waste was greater than ever. Throughout 2011, more businesses called more often to donate their leftovers to Food Runners. Volunteerism was up overall in 2011 as well. David Letterman, step aside.  Check out Food Runners Top 10 list of highlights from 2011.

10)  VOLUNTEER FUN:  "When I went to pick up donations from the Ferry Building Farmer Market,  I came upon Jeremy Irons (!) rummaging through the compost bin.  Turns out he was in town filming a documentary about recycling and composting around the world.  One never knows who they are going to see on a food run.  Just another Food Runners volunteer perk!"  from volunteer Danee A.

9)  LUNCH ANYONE?  Who doesn't love a good P B & J sandwich?  USF student Steffi's thoughts exactly. In February, Steffi organized a crew from her Alpha Phi Omega chapter to make 100 bagged lunches for donation.  Steffi called Food Runners who directed her and her team of "food angels" to deliver the lunches to after school programs for low-income students at both Booker T. Washington Community Center and Hamilton Recreation Center.

8)  NUTS TO SOUP:  "It's all very fresh and delicious," stated Adam. "It was supposed to be vegan but some chicken stock got in the mix by mistake and we can't use it." Thus came the call from San Francisco Soup Company to donate 300 gallons of delicious corn chowder one Thursday in March.  Food Runners truck drivers David and Kacie happily delivered the product to Fraternite Notre Dame, Martin DePorres House of Hospitality, Harbor Light Center and Derek Silva Community.

7)   HOT DAWG!:  It's yellow. It's orange.  It's sleek. On November 18th the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile did food runs for Food Runners.  The kids at Columbia Park Boys and Girls Club are still talking about their Food Runners delivery that day.   Good deeds come in all kinds of packages.

6) ALL TOGETHER NOW:  Whole Foods Potrero and Whole Foods Noe Valley had already been making daily donations to Food Runners for years. Whole Foods Haight opened on February 16th. Food Runners volunteers were on the job from day one. Whole Foods 4th St. joined the Food Runners bandwagon in September.  Now all the San Francisco Whole Foods stores donate to Food Runners on a daily basis.  Yes, yes, yes!

5)  TWEET/LIKE:  Food Runners joined Facebook and Twitter in August.  Check us out!

4)  WELL DESERVED: On December 14, Food Runners founder, Mary Risley, received the Foodie Chap Humanitarian of the Year award, presented by KCBS News Radio on behalf of Iron Chef Ron Seigel (of resturant Parallel 37) and Iron Chef Dominque Crenn (of restaurant Atelier Crenn).

3)  TWEET, TWEET, TWEET:  Have you ever tried to find a phone number for a modern high tech company?  In September, with no phone number in sight, Food Runners emailed a random employee on the Twitter website contact page inquiring as to the fate of the corporate cafeteria leftovers.  Chef Lance from Twitter called the next day.  Since then, Twitter has been donating multiple trays of beautiful cooked food on a daily basis, Monday thru Friday.

2) OUTSIDE THE BOX:  The Outside Lands Festival dominated the western end of Golden Gate Park from  Friday, August 12th thru Monday, August 14th.  Food Runners, in partnership with Ashley Hillis, creator of the Zero Leftover Initiative, picked up approximately 2 tons of excess food over the course of the festival.  That's  2 tons  of nutritious food that went to San Franciscans in need instead of the garbage.  

1) THE RESULTS:  "I would like to share one of the miracles that comes from Food Runners.  The Oshun drop-in center for Women and Children has only prevailed through tough times due to Food Runners unconditional support with food donations delivered by dedicated volunteers." Chef Danny Higginbotham, Walden House.

"For once, these teens might get enough healthy fuel to get through their afternoon.  For some of these kids, if it weren't for Food Runners, lunch would be their last meal of the day." After school program staff member Mike,  Hamilton Recreation Center.

"The food has not only offered nourishment, but it has also helped students expand their palates and their views of what is nutritious.  With the help of Food Runners,  students have felt appreciated and cared for." Program coordinators Jodi Tsapias and Dania March,  Downtown High School.

"I just want to thank Food Runners for the generous donation that came yesterday. "It was like the holidays," said the tenants.  It was a great community feeling watching everyone talk and eat meals.  When I see smiles on the tenants faces, I'm happy."  House Manager, Elise W.,  Leroy Looper Residence.

It's a brand new year!  Remember to spread the word that Food Runners is always looking for more food.  Tell your local restaurants, grocery stores, bakeries and other businesses that they never have to throw away or compost good, edible food.  Food Runners is just a phone call away at 415-929-1866.  And don't forget to tell your friends that they can help too by becoming a Food Runners volunteer or by making a monetary donation to Food Runners.  Giving back never felt so good!